Southern First Bancshares (SFST) Downgraded by ValuEngine

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ValuEngine downgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

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

Shares of NASDAQ:SFST traded up $0.61 on Wednesday, hitting $37.26. The company had a trading volume of 8,737 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,925. The company has a quick ratio of 1.07, a current ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49. Southern First Bancshares has a 52-week low of $34.66 and a 52-week high of $48.75. The company has a market capitalization of $275.66 million, a P/E ratio of 16.82 and a beta of 0.62.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.05. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 11.76% and a net margin of 22.71%. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Southern First Bancshares will post 2.76 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director David G. Ellison acquired 1,000 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 18th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $40.35 per share, for a total transaction of $40,350.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 40,728 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,643,374.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Leighton M. Cubbage sold 765 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on 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 in the company, valued at $3,464,920.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 12.85% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Southern First Bancshares by 1.7% during 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 period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in Southern First Bancshares by 14.9% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 225,384 shares of the bank’s stock worth $9,962,000 after buying an additional 29,189 shares during the period. Elizabeth Park Capital Advisors Ltd. lifted its position in Southern First Bancshares by 2.6% during the second quarter. Elizabeth Park Capital Advisors Ltd. now owns 197,004 shares of the bank’s stock worth $8,708,000 after buying an additional 5,000 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in Southern First Bancshares by 51.7% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 156,721 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,927,000 after buying an additional 53,421 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in Southern First Bancshares by 8.9% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 74,405 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,288,000 after buying an additional 6,066 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.60% 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 certificates of deposit.

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To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

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