First Bancshares (FBMS) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday morning. They currently have $38.00 target price on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “The FIRST BANCSHARES, INC., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the parent company of The First, A National Banking Association. The First is now ranked in the top twenty banks by asset size in Mississippi. The First has operations in Hattiesburg, Laurel, Purvis, Picayune, Pascagoula, Bay St. Louis, Wiggins and Gulfport, Mississippi. The Company and its subsidiary bank engage in a general commercial and retail banking business characterized by personalized service and local decision-making, emphasizing the banking needs of small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns and individuals. The products and services offered by the bank include deposit services, loan products, mortgage loan divisions and other services. “

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on FBMS. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $39.00 price target on shares of First Bancshares in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. BidaskClub cut shares of First Bancshares from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of First Bancshares from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ FBMS) traded up $0.05 during trading on Friday, hitting $33.80. 18,153 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 38,360. First Bancshares has a 12-month low of $26.05 and a 12-month high of $35.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 0.86. The company has a market cap of $376.85, a P/E ratio of 29.39 and a beta of -0.29.

In other news, Director J Douglas Seidenburg purchased 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $29.00 per share, with a total value of $87,000.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 100,740 shares in the company, valued at $2,921,460. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders have purchased 4,250 shares of company stock valued at $123,250. 11.76% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Nationwide Fund Advisors purchased a new position in shares of First Bancshares during the 2nd quarter worth about $128,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of First Bancshares during the 3rd quarter worth about $170,000. Rhumbline Advisers purchased a new position in shares of First Bancshares during the 2nd quarter worth about $246,000. New York State Common Retirement Fund purchased a new position in shares of First Bancshares during the 2nd quarter worth about $251,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of First Bancshares during the 3rd quarter worth about $370,000. 47.39% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About First Bancshares

The First Bancshares, Inc is a bank holding company for The First, A National Banking Association (the Bank). The Company and the Bank engage in a general commercial and retail banking business for small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns and individuals. The Bank provides a range of banking services in its primary market area of South Mississippi, South Alabama and Louisiana.

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