Southern First Bancshares (SFST) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has $52.00 target price on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Greenville First Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for Greenville First Bank, N.A., a national banking association chartered under the laws of the United States. “

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Several other analysts also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Southern First Bancshares from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. ValuEngine raised Southern First Bancshares from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, February 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $42.00.

Shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ SFST) opened at $43.70 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $321.83, a P/E ratio of 21.96 and a beta of 0.69. Southern First Bancshares has a 52 week low of $31.50 and a 52 week high of $46.70. The company has a quick ratio of 1.06, a current ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54.

In related news, President F Justin Strickland sold 657 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total transaction of $28,908.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now directly owns 72,232 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,178,208. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Michael D. Dowling sold 1,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.25, for a total value of $75,225.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 26,807 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,186,209.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 7,357 shares of company stock valued at $322,187 over the last ninety days. 12.85% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SFST. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 18.1% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 67,618 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,505,000 after purchasing an additional 10,365 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 6.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 199,557 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $7,393,000 after purchasing an additional 11,495 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 14.6% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 86,369 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,199,000 after purchasing an additional 11,008 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 12.1% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 24,888 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $905,000 after purchasing an additional 2,685 shares during the period. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in Southern First Bancshares during the third quarter valued at $189,000. 70.03% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Southern First Bancshares Company Profile

Southern First Bancshares, Inc is a bank holding company that owns the capital stock of Southern First Bank (the Bank), a South Carolina state bank, and all of the stock of Greenville First Statutory Trust I and II (the Trusts). The Bank is a commercial bank with approximately nine retail offices located in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.

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