Southern First Bancshares (SFST) Downgraded by ValuEngine

ValuEngine cut shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

SFST has been the topic of a number of other reports. BidaskClub upgraded Southern First Bancshares from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, August 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southern First Bancshares from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $49.00.

Shares of Southern First Bancshares stock traded up $0.61 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $37.26. The stock had a trading volume of 8,737 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,925. The company has a market cap of $275.66 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.82 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.07. Southern First Bancshares has a 1 year low of $34.66 and a 1 year high of $48.75.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.05. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 11.76% and a net margin of 22.71%. Research analysts anticipate that Southern First Bancshares will post 2.76 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO R Arthur Seaver, Jr. sold 18,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.68, for a total value of $750,240.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 44,876 shares in the company, valued at $1,870,431.68. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Leighton M. Cubbage sold 765 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.10, for a total value of $30,676.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 86,407 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,464,920.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 12.85% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SFST. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 1.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 349,895 shares of the bank’s stock worth $13,750,000 after buying an additional 5,830 shares during the last quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P acquired a new stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares in the third quarter worth about $1,294,000. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 810.0% in the third quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 9,100 shares of the bank’s stock worth $358,000 after buying an additional 8,100 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 16.5% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 21,119 shares of the bank’s stock worth $830,000 after buying an additional 2,988 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Welch & Forbes LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares in the third quarter worth about $393,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.60% of the company’s stock.

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 certificates of deposit.

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