Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $48.00 price target on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 14.01% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on SFST. ValuEngine cut Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th. FIG Partners reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $42.00 target price (up previously from $40.00) on shares of Southern First Bancshares in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $41.00.

Shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ SFST) opened at $42.10 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $308.13, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.46 and a beta of 0.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.04. Southern First Bancshares has a one year low of $31.40 and a one year high of $43.20.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $15.85 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.22 million. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 11.10% and a net margin of 21.10%. research analysts anticipate that Southern First Bancshares will post 2.03 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, President F Justin Strickland sold 1,250 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.00, for a total transaction of $48,750.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now owns 62,889 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,452,671. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Michael D. Dowling sold 4,000 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.29, for a total value of $169,160.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 28,007 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,184,416.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 12.85% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in Southern First Bancshares by 7.9% during the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 3,080 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $100,000 after purchasing an additional 226 shares during the last quarter. Globeflex Capital L P acquired a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $112,000. American International Group Inc. boosted its position in Southern First Bancshares by 7.3% during the first quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 3,534 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 239 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the third quarter valued at $189,000. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers acquired a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $253,000. 70.12% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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