Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) Earns Buy Rating from Analysts at DA Davidson

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DA Davidson started coverage on shares of Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage issued a buy rating and a $28.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Green Plains from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Thursday, June 27th. ValuEngine raised shares of Xylem from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, June 21st. FIG Partners reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Sterling Bancorp in a report on Monday, April 29th. Finally, Raymond James lowered shares of First Midwest Bancorp to a hold rating in a report on Monday, July 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $28.75.

NASDAQ:ISTR opened at $23.82 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.01. The stock has a market cap of $238.96 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.85 and a beta of 0.15. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $23.64. Investar has a 1-year low of $19.49 and a 1-year high of $28.69.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $16.44 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.42 million. Investar had a net margin of 18.46% and a return on equity of 9.03%. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Investar will post 1.94 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 31st. Investors of record on Monday, July 8th will be paid a $0.055 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, July 5th. This represents a $0.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.92%. This is a boost from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. Investar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 13.41%.

In related news, CFO Christopher L. Hufft sold 1,250 shares of Investar stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.55, for a total value of $29,437.50. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 26,006 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $612,441.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 9.64% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ISTR. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its stake in Investar by 1,138.8% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,883 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $43,000 after acquiring an additional 1,731 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY acquired a new stake in Investar in the 4th quarter valued at $82,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Investar in the 4th quarter valued at $112,000. Bank of America Corp DE grew its stake in Investar by 82.5% in the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 5,759 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $143,000 after acquiring an additional 2,603 shares during the period. Finally, KG&L Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Investar in the 4th quarter valued at $248,000. 54.10% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Investar

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, and individual retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking services.

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