Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) Short Interest Update

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Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest during the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 106,500 shares, a drop of 15.7% from the April 30th total of 126,400 shares. Approximately 0.9% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 12,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 8.7 days.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of BFST. Banc Funds Co. LLC increased its position in Business First Bancshares by 3.0% during the first quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 525,149 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,887,000 after buying an additional 15,149 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Business First Bancshares by 431.1% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,257 shares of the company’s stock worth $55,000 after buying an additional 1,832 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY increased its position in Business First Bancshares by 192.6% during the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 3,467 shares of the company’s stock worth $84,000 after buying an additional 2,282 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in Business First Bancshares by 81.5% during the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 7,299 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,000 after buying an additional 3,278 shares during the period. Finally, RMB Capital Management LLC increased its position in Business First Bancshares by 7.2% during the fourth quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 958,825 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,232,000 after buying an additional 64,338 shares during the period. 43.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on BFST shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 29th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Business First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. Finally, FIG Partners reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Business First Bancshares in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Business First Bancshares presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $28.50.

Shares of BFST traded up $0.04 on Wednesday, reaching $25.24. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,217 shares, compared to its average volume of 14,365. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. The company has a market cap of $337.23 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.41 and a beta of 0.12. Business First Bancshares has a 12-month low of $20.64 and a 12-month high of $27.89.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $21.43 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $21.29 million. Business First Bancshares had a net margin of 18.11% and a return on equity of 7.91%. As a group, analysts predict that Business First Bancshares will post 1.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 31st. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 15th were issued a $0.10 dividend. This is an increase from Business First Bancshares’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 14th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.58%. Business First Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.59%.

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Business First Bancshares Company Profile

Business First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Business First Bank that provides various banking products and services. It offers various deposit products and services, including a range of checking, demand, money market, time, and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit; and remote deposit capture and direct deposit services.

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