Weekly Analysts’ Ratings Updates for Business First Bancshares (BFST)

A number of firms have modified their ratings and price targets on shares of Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ: BFST) recently:

  • 4/25/2019 – Business First Bancshares was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Business First Bancshares Inc. provides commercial and personal banking services to small to midsize businesses. Its services includes checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, consumer loans, commercial and non-profit checking, commercial interest checking, business sweep investment, essential business checking, business value checking accounts, business loans, cash management and merchant processing and other services. The company operates primarily in Baton Rouge, Brusly, Covington, Denham Springs, Erwinville, Gonzales, Houma, Lafayette, New Orleans, Shreveport, Port Allen, Zachary and Lake Charles, Louisiana as well as Dallas, Texas. Business First Bancshares Inc. is based in Clayton, United States. “
  • 4/18/2019 – Business First Bancshares was downgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 4/15/2019 – Business First Bancshares was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Business First Bancshares Inc. provides commercial and personal banking services to small to midsize businesses. Its services includes checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, consumer loans, commercial and non-profit checking, commercial interest checking, business sweep investment, essential business checking, business value checking accounts, business loans, cash management and merchant processing and other services. The company operates primarily in Baton Rouge, Brusly, Covington, Denham Springs, Erwinville, Gonzales, Houma, Lafayette, New Orleans, Shreveport, Port Allen, Zachary and Lake Charles, Louisiana as well as Dallas, Texas. Business First Bancshares Inc. is based in Clayton, United States. “
  • 4/9/2019 – Business First Bancshares was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Business First Bancshares Inc. provides commercial and personal banking services to small to midsize businesses. Its services includes checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, consumer loans, commercial and non-profit checking, commercial interest checking, business sweep investment, essential business checking, business value checking accounts, business loans, cash management and merchant processing and other services. The company operates primarily in Baton Rouge, Brusly, Covington, Denham Springs, Erwinville, Gonzales, Houma, Lafayette, New Orleans, Shreveport, Port Allen, Zachary and Lake Charles, Louisiana as well as Dallas, Texas. Business First Bancshares Inc. is based in Clayton, United States. “

Shares of Business First Bancshares stock opened at $24.47 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. Business First Bancshares Inc has a twelve month low of $20.64 and a twelve month high of $27.89. The stock has a market cap of $330.09 million and a PE ratio of 16.88.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.01. Business First Bancshares had a net margin of 18.11% and a return on equity of 8.26%. The business had revenue of $21.43 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $21.29 million. Research analysts forecast that Business First Bancshares Inc will post 1.79 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.10 per share. This is a positive change from Business First Bancshares’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 14th. Business First Bancshares’s payout ratio is 22.07%.

In other news, Director Norman Jerome Sr Vascocu, Sr. sold 6,000 shares of Business First Bancshares stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.03, for a total transaction of $144,180.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Norman Jerome Sr Vascocu, Sr. sold 5,000 shares of Business First Bancshares stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.24, for a total transaction of $121,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 20,053 shares of company stock worth $483,829.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 14.2% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 12,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $293,000 after buying an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 431.1% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,257 shares of the company’s stock valued at $55,000 after buying an additional 1,832 shares in the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 192.6% in the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 3,467 shares of the company’s stock valued at $84,000 after buying an additional 2,282 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 81.5% in the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 7,299 shares of the company’s stock valued at $177,000 after buying an additional 3,278 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 107,305 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,600,000 after buying an additional 3,418 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.06% of the company’s stock.

Business First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Business First Bank that provides various banking products and services. It offers various deposit products and services, including a range of checking, demand, money market, time, and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit; and remote deposit capture and direct deposit services.

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