Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) Downgraded to Hold at BidaskClub

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BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday, BidAskClub reports.

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on SFST. FIG Partners reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Southern First Bancshares in a research note on Thursday, May 16th. Zacks Investment Research raised Southern First Bancshares from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $40.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $40.00.

NASDAQ:SFST opened at $36.17 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21. Southern First Bancshares has a fifty-two week low of $27.33 and a fifty-two week high of $47.30. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $36.24. The stock has a market cap of $275.31 million, a PE ratio of 12.56 and a beta of 0.90.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The bank reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.06. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 13.52% and a net margin of 25.13%. The company had revenue of $18.81 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $18.40 million. Sell-side analysts forecast that Southern First Bancshares will post 3.1 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Leighton M. Cubbage sold 1,320 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.53, for a total transaction of $45,579.60. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 84,562 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,919,925.86. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 10.51% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Banc Funds Co. LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 24.8% during the 1st quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 562,754 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $19,060,000 after buying an additional 111,710 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 4.2% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 364,765 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $11,698,000 after buying an additional 14,870 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 4.0% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 259,340 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $8,317,000 after buying an additional 10,067 shares during the last quarter. Castine Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 1.7% during the 1st quarter. Castine Capital Management LLC now owns 189,682 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,424,000 after buying an additional 3,209 shares during the last quarter. Finally, EJF Capital LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 10.3% during the 4th quarter. EJF Capital LLC now owns 110,303 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,537,000 after buying an additional 10,265 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.24% of the company’s stock.

About Southern First Bancshares

Southern First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Southern First Bank that provides various banking products and services to general public in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It accepts various deposit products that include checking accounts, commercial checking accounts, savings accounts, and other time deposits, including daily money market accounts and long-term certificates of deposit.

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