Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) to Hold

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Greenville First Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for Greenville First Bank, N.A., a national banking association chartered under the laws of the United States. “

Separately, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 13th.

NASDAQ:SFST traded up $0.68 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $39.50. The stock had a trading volume of 10,797 shares, compared to its average volume of 13,854. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.04. The firm has a market capitalization of $293.40 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.09 and a beta of 0.98. Southern First Bancshares has a twelve month low of $27.33 and a twelve month high of $41.99. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $39.27 and a 200 day simple moving average of $37.47.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 2nd. The bank reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.93. The firm had revenue of $20.63 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $20.63 million. Southern First Bancshares had a net margin of 25.39% and a return on equity of 13.94%. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Southern First Bancshares will post 3.35 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Fred Gilmer, Jr. sold 1,600 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.76, for a total transaction of $65,216.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 46,290 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,886,780.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Michael D. Dowling sold 2,357 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.08, for a total transaction of $141,608.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 20,907 shares of company stock valued at $863,550. 10.51% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC lifted its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 4.3% during the 2nd quarter. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC now owns 8,400 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $329,000 after acquiring an additional 348 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 5.5% during the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 16,086 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $630,000 after acquiring an additional 834 shares during the period. Mcmillion Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $42,000. EJF Capital LLC lifted its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. EJF Capital LLC now owns 123,232 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $4,826,000 after acquiring an additional 1,062 shares during the period. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 20.7% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 7,720 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $297,000 after acquiring an additional 1,322 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.73% of the company’s stock.

About Southern First Bancshares

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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