MidSouth Bancorp Inc. (NYSE:MSL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “MIDSOUTH BANCORP, INC. is a bank holding company engaged in general banking business. “

Shares of MidSouth Bancorp (NYSE:MSL) opened at 10.34 on Friday. MidSouth Bancorp has a 12 month low of $6.51 and a 12 month high of $11.62. The company has a market capitalization of $117.48 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.16 and a beta of 1.30. The company’s 50-day moving average is $10.15 and its 200 day moving average is $9.89.

MidSouth Bancorp (NYSE:MSL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.15 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.02. MidSouth Bancorp had a net margin of 8.60% and a return on equity of 4.86%. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that MidSouth Bancorp will post $0.61 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.09 per share. This represents a $0.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. MidSouth Bancorp’s payout ratio is 52.94%.

In other MidSouth Bancorp news, CEO C R. Cloutier sold 2,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $10.22, for a total transaction of $26,572.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 281,728 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,879,260.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO C R. Cloutier sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $10.04, for a total transaction of $50,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 23.27% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MSL. Guggenheim Capital LLC purchased a new stake in MidSouth Bancorp during the second quarter valued at approximately $226,000. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. purchased a new stake in MidSouth Bancorp during the second quarter valued at approximately $171,000. Spark Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in MidSouth Bancorp during the second quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Ancora Advisors LLC raised its stake in MidSouth Bancorp by 11.7% in the second quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 54,716 shares of the company’s stock valued at $549,000 after buying an additional 5,716 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in MidSouth Bancorp by 1.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 321,380 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,227,000 after buying an additional 4,798 shares during the last quarter. 35.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MidSouth Bancorp Company Profile

MidSouth Bancorp, Inc is a financial holding company. The Company operates primarily through its wholly owned bank subsidiary, MidSouth Bank, N.A. The Company is operating principally in the community banking business by providing banking services to commercial and retail customers through the Bank. The Bank is community oriented and focuses primarily on offering commercial and consumer loan and deposit services to individuals and small to middle market businesses in Louisiana, and central and east Texas.

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