Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) Rating Lowered to Strong Sell at ValuEngine

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) was downgraded by stock analysts at ValuEngine from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, ValuEngine reports.

SFST has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 18th. BidaskClub cut shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, March 9th.

Shares of NASDAQ:SFST opened at $28.55 on Wednesday. Southern First Bancshares has a twelve month low of $20.89 and a twelve month high of $44.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $196.63 million, a PE ratio of 7.97 and a beta of 1.02. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $35.84 and its 200-day moving average price is $40.05. The company has a quick ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its earnings results on Monday, March 2nd. The bank reported $0.92 EPS for the quarter. Southern First Bancshares had a net margin of 25.88% and a return on equity of 14.37%. The company had revenue of $21.14 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $20.90 million. Analysts expect that Southern First Bancshares will post 3.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director David G. Ellison bought 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 12th. The shares were bought at an average price of $32.57 per share, for a total transaction of $97,710.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 42,453 shares in the company, valued at $1,382,694.21. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Leighton M. Cubbage sold 1,075 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.90, for a total transaction of $43,967.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 78,532 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,211,958.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 2,302 shares of company stock worth $92,836. 10.51% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SFST. Bank of Montreal Can grew its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 46.7% during the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 898 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 286 shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. grew its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 51.2% during the 4th quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 1,435 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $61,000 after buying an additional 486 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 93.3% during the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,064 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $88,000 after buying an additional 996 shares in the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC purchased a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Finally, Squarepoint Ops LLC purchased a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $279,000. 72.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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