First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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

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. “

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on FBMS. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Bancshares from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, July 26th. ValuEngine cut shares of First Bancshares from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 19th. Finally, Stephens cut shares of First Bancshares from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $34.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, July 9th.

FBMS traded up $0.28 on Friday, reaching $30.92. The company had a trading volume of 43,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 52,877. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $31.13 and a 200 day simple moving average of $31.10. The company has a market cap of $527.17 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.50 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a current ratio of 0.89. First Bancshares has a 52-week low of $27.84 and a 52-week high of $43.53.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 22nd. The bank reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.02. First Bancshares had a net margin of 20.99% and a return on equity of 10.06%. The business had revenue of $37.49 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $35.50 million. As a group, equities research analysts predict that First Bancshares will post 2.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 23rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 9th will be given a dividend of $0.08 per share. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.03%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 8th. First Bancshares’s payout ratio is currently 13.97%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of FBMS. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at approximately $42,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new position in First Bancshares during the first quarter valued at approximately $53,000. Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in First Bancshares by 40.5% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,603 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $79,000 after acquiring an additional 750 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its position in First Bancshares by 508.0% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,590 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $80,000 after acquiring an additional 2,164 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its holdings in shares of First Bancshares by 284.2% in the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 3,623 shares of the bank’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 2,680 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.75% of the company’s stock.

First Bancshares Company Profile

The First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank 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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