First Bancshares (FBMS) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note 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. “

FBMS has been the topic of several other reports. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a buy rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of First Bancshares in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. BidaskClub cut shares of First Bancshares from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Bancshares from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) traded up $0.05 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $33.80. 18,100 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 22,989. 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 stock has a market cap of $377.41, a PE ratio of 29.39 and a beta of -0.29.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The bank reported $0.51 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.05. First Bancshares had a net margin of 14.14% and a return on equity of 9.20%. equities research analysts expect that First Bancshares will post 1.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director J Douglas Seidenburg purchased 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $29.00 per share, for a total transaction of $87,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 100,740 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,921,460. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Over the last 90 days, insiders have bought 4,250 shares of company stock worth $123,250. 8.08% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in shares of First Bancshares by 11.4% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 28,796 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $868,000 after purchasing an additional 2,936 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of First Bancshares in the 2nd quarter valued at $128,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of First Bancshares in the 3rd quarter valued at $170,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of First Bancshares by 35.6% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 33,208 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $917,000 after purchasing an additional 8,725 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers acquired a new stake in shares of First Bancshares in the 2nd quarter valued at $246,000. 47.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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First Bancshares Company Profile

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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