Investar (ISTR) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Investar Holding Corporation is a bank holding company for Investar Bank. It offers a range of commercial and retail lending products throughout its market areas, including business loans to small to medium-sized businesses and professional concerns, as well as loans to individuals. The company accepts various deposit products, including savings, checking, money market, and NOW accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts. It also provides cash management products and services, such as remote deposit capture, electronic statements, positive pay, ACH origination and wire transfer, investment sweep accounts, and business Internet banking, as well as debit cards and mobile banking services. Investar Holding Corporation is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Investar from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Investar from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 25th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $30.00 price objective on shares of Investar and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Sunday, July 29th. Finally, FIG Partners started coverage on shares of Investar in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. They issued a buy rating and a $30.00 price objective for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Investar currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $29.20.

Shares of NASDAQ:ISTR remained flat at $$25.08 during trading on Tuesday. 264 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 27,915. The firm has a market cap of $249.62 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.39 and a beta of 0.36. Investar has a 52 week low of $20.35 and a 52 week high of $29.90. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $15.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.65 million. Investar had a net margin of 16.88% and a return on equity of 8.50%. Sell-side analysts expect that Investar will post 1.61 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 31st. Investors of record on Monday, October 8th were paid a $0.045 dividend. This represents a $0.18 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.72%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 4th. This is a positive change from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. Investar’s payout ratio is presently 16.07%.

In other Investar news, Director Andrew C. Nelson acquired 4,500 shares of Investar stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $25.00 per share, with a total value of $112,500.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 33,232 shares in the company, valued at $830,800. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. In the last ninety days, insiders purchased 4,785 shares of company stock valued at $119,888. 9.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in Investar by 173.5% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,117 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $137,000 after acquiring an additional 3,246 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Investar by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 98,551 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,725,000 after acquiring an additional 5,510 shares during the period. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Investar in the 2nd quarter worth $129,000. Globeflex Capital L P raised its holdings in Investar by 18.6% in the 2nd quarter. Globeflex Capital L P now owns 14,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $387,000 after acquiring an additional 2,200 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Investar by 38.9% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 70,520 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,950,000 after acquiring an additional 19,753 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 58.10% of the company’s stock.

Investar Company Profile

Investar Holding Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Investar Bank that provides a range of commercial banking products for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses in South Louisiana. The company offers various deposit products and services, such as savings, checking, money market, NOW, and individual retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking services.

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