Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFST) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 79,300 shares, an increase of 66.6% from the May 30th total of 47,600 shares. Approximately 1.2% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 15,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.3 days.

SFST has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. BidaskClub upgraded Zynerba Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 4th. FIG Partners reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Southern First Bancshares in a research note on Thursday, May 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded HENGAN INTL GRP/ADR from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 21st.

In other news, Director Leighton M. Cubbage sold 1,270 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.01, for a total value of $45,732.70. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 84,227 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,033,014.27. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 10.51% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Rhumbline Advisers lifted its stake in Southern First Bancshares by 43.4% in the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 9,787 shares of the bank’s stock worth $314,000 after acquiring an additional 2,961 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 4.2% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 364,765 shares of the bank’s stock worth $11,698,000 after buying an additional 14,870 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 4.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 31,951 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,024,000 after buying an additional 1,502 shares during the last quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P boosted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 34,810 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,117,000 after buying an additional 1,896 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 7.7% in the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 9,800 shares of the bank’s stock worth $314,000 after buying an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. 71.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

SFST stock remained flat at $$37.84 during mid-day trading on Friday. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,076 shares, compared to its average volume of 19,644. The stock has a market cap of $285.06 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.14 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.05. Southern First Bancshares has a fifty-two week low of $27.33 and a fifty-two week high of $46.55. The company’s fifty day moving average is $36.82.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The bank reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.40 million. Analysts predict that Southern First Bancshares will post 3.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southern First Bancshares Company Profile

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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