Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ: BFST) is one of 261 publicly-traded companies in the “State commercial banks” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its competitors? We will compare Business First Bancshares to similar businesses based on the strength of its analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, risk, institutional ownership, profitability and dividends.

Dividends

Business First Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Business First Bancshares pays out 22.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “State commercial banks” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.2% and pay out 29.1% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

49.4% of Business First Bancshares shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 47.6% of shares of all “State commercial banks” companies are held by institutional investors. 11.8% of shares of all “State commercial banks” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Business First Bancshares and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Business First Bancshares 16.78% 8.34% 1.02%
Business First Bancshares Competitors 22.47% 9.26% 0.94%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Business First Bancshares and its competitors, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Business First Bancshares 0 0 3 0 3.00
Business First Bancshares Competitors 1968 6499 5060 293 2.27

Business First Bancshares presently has a consensus price target of $29.00, suggesting a potential upside of 19.54%. As a group, “State commercial banks” companies have a potential upside of 16.54%. Given Business First Bancshares’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Business First Bancshares is more favorable than its competitors.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Business First Bancshares and its competitors top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
Business First Bancshares $83.97 million $14.09 million 16.73
Business First Bancshares Competitors $1.41 billion $272.54 million 13.56

Business First Bancshares’ competitors have higher revenue and earnings than Business First Bancshares. Business First Bancshares is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

About Business First Bancshares

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 deposits, debit cards, remote deposit capture, online banking, mobile banking, e-Statements, bank-by-mail, and direct deposit services. The company also provides commercial and industrial loans, including commercial lines of credit, working capital loans, term loans, equipment financing, asset acquisition, expansion and development loans, borrowing base loans, letters of credit, and other loan products; construction and development loans; residential real estate loans comprising first and second lien one-to-four family mortgage loans, and home equity lines of credit; and consumer loans, including secured and unsecured installment and term loans. In addition, it offers wealth management products, including mutual funds, annuities, individual retirement accounts, and other financial products. Further, the company provides a range of other financial services comprising credit card products, drive-through banking facilities, automated teller machines, night depository, personalized checks, treasury, cash management and merchant services, employee and payroll benefits solutions, automated clearing house services, electronic funds transfers, domestic and foreign wire transfers, traveler's checks, cash management, vault services, loan and deposit sweep accounts, lock-box services, remote deposit capture services, international trade finance, international trade, and foreign exchange services. The company operates through 18 banking centers; a loan production office in each of New Orleans and Dallas markets; and a wealth solutions office in Houma market. Business First Bancshares, Inc. was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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