Business First Bancshares Inc (BFST) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Strong Buy” by Brokerages

Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) has earned an average broker rating score of 1.33 (Strong Buy) from the three brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a buy recommendation and two have given a strong buy recommendation to the company. Business First Bancshares’ rating score has declined by 33% in the last three months as a result of a number of analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokerages have set a 1 year consensus price objective of $29.17 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.39 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Business First Bancshares an industry rank of 171 out of 256 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Business First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 21st. FIG Partners assumed coverage on Business First Bancshares in a report on Monday, September 24th. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Finally, Raymond James cut Business First Bancshares from a “strong-buy” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday.

NASDAQ BFST opened at $22.90 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a current ratio of 0.98. Business First Bancshares has a 1-year low of $20.64 and a 1-year high of $30.00.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 22nd. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.37. Business First Bancshares had a return on equity of 5.72% and a net margin of 13.03%. The business had revenue of $17.18 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $17.54 million. As a group, analysts forecast that Business First Bancshares will post 1.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CFO Greg Robertson acquired 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 6th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $26.15 per share, for a total transaction of $78,450.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. acquired a new stake in Business First Bancshares in the third quarter worth about $697,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in Business First Bancshares by 75.7% in the third quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 66,204 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,758,000 after purchasing an additional 28,530 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. acquired a new stake in Business First Bancshares in the second quarter worth about $12,080,000. Financial Management Professionals Inc. acquired a new stake in Business First Bancshares in the third quarter worth about $443,000. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Business First Bancshares in the second quarter worth about $464,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.63% of the company’s stock.

Business First Bancshares Company Profile

Business First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Business First Bank that provides various banking products and services. It offers various deposit products and services, including a range of checking, demand, money market, time, and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposits, debit cards, remote deposit capture, online banking, mobile banking, e-Statements, bank-by-mail, and direct deposit services.

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