Investar Holding Corp (NASDAQ:ISTR) Sees Significant Decrease in Short Interest

Investar Holding Corp (NASDAQ:ISTR) was the recipient of a significant decline in short interest in the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 43,700 shares, a decline of 40.1% from the August 30th total of 72,900 shares. Currently, 0.5% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 12,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.5 days.

In related news, CEO John J. D’angelo sold 4,671 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.50, for a total value of $109,768.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 158,563 shares in the company, valued at $3,726,230.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Ryan P. Finnan sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.37, for a total value of $35,055.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 16,769 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $391,891.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 6,857 shares of company stock valued at $160,602 in the last quarter. 9.64% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Wasatch Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Investar by 45.5% in the second quarter. Wasatch Advisors Inc. now owns 204,026 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,866,000 after buying an additional 63,799 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Investar by 434.6% in the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 11,136 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 9,053 shares in the last quarter. Investment House LLC bought a new position in Investar in the second quarter worth approximately $306,000. Banc Funds Co. LLC raised its stake in Investar by 8.1% in the second quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 496,881 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,851,000 after buying an additional 37,171 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Maltese Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Investar by 61.2% in the second quarter. Maltese Capital Management LLC now owns 354,548 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,456,000 after buying an additional 134,548 shares in the last quarter. 53.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

ISTR has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Investar from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Raymond James upgraded Investar from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, July 8th. ValuEngine upgraded Investar from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 4th. Finally, DA Davidson reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Investar in a report on Monday, July 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Investar currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $27.50.

NASDAQ:ISTR traded up $0.04 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $23.80. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,798 shares, compared to its average volume of 19,027. The company has a market capitalization of $236.57 million, a P/E ratio of 14.51 and a beta of 0.16. Investar has a 12 month low of $19.49 and a 12 month high of $26.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a current ratio of 1.02. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $23.38 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $23.40.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $18.07 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $17.54 million. Investar had a net margin of 18.69% and a return on equity of 9.25%. As a group, analysts predict that Investar will post 1.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 31st. Investors of record on Monday, October 7th will be paid a $0.06 dividend. This is an increase from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.06. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 4th. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.01%. Investar’s payout ratio is 14.63%.

Investar Company Profile

Investar Holding Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Investar Bank that provides a range of commercial banking products for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses in South Louisiana. The company offers various deposit products and services, such as savings, checking, money market, and individual retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking services.

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