Zacks Investment Research Lowers First Bancshares (FBMS) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday morning.

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. BidaskClub lowered First Bancshares from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. ValuEngine lowered First Bancshares from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, Stephens restated a buy rating and set a $37.00 target price on shares of First Bancshares in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.00.

NASDAQ FBMS opened at $35.46 on Friday. First Bancshares has a fifty-two week low of $29.75 and a fifty-two week high of $43.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 0.92. The stock has a market cap of $526.14 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.15 and a beta of -0.04.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.01. First Bancshares had a return on equity of 10.01% and a net margin of 16.09%. The company had revenue of $26.74 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $26.48 million. Analysts anticipate that First Bancshares will post 2.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 23rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 6th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.56%. First Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 11.36%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FBMS. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in First Bancshares by 84.0% during the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 86,450 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,788,000 after buying an additional 39,473 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC bought a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the first quarter worth about $430,000. Hartford Investment Management Co. bought a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the second quarter worth about $204,000. Northpointe Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the second quarter worth about $4,577,000. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the second quarter worth about $258,000. Institutional investors own 65.57% of the company’s stock.

About First Bancshares

The First Bancshares, Inc operates as the holding company for The First, A National Banking Association that provides general commercial and retail banking services. The company operates through three segments: Commercial/Retail Bank, Mortgage Banking Division, and Holding Company. It offers deposit services, including checking, NOW, and savings accounts; other time deposits, such as daily money market accounts and longer-term certificates of deposit; and individual retirement accounts.

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