Investar (ISTR) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Investar Holding Corporation is a bank holding company for Investar Bank. It offers a range of commercial and retail lending products throughout its market areas, including business loans to small to medium-sized businesses and professional concerns, as well as loans to individuals. The company accepts various deposit products, including savings, checking, money market, and NOW accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts. It also provides cash management products and services, such as remote deposit capture, electronic statements, positive pay, ACH origination and wire transfer, investment sweep accounts, and business Internet banking, as well as debit cards and mobile banking services. Investar Holding Corporation is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “

ISTR has been the subject of several other research reports. Hovde Group reissued an outperform rating and set a $28.00 price objective on shares of Investar in a report on Friday, December 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an overweight rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Investar in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $27.00.

Shares of Investar (NASDAQ ISTR) traded up $0.05 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $24.70. 12,996 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 19,822. The company has a market cap of $207.29, a P/E ratio of 25.20 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01. Investar has a one year low of $18.31 and a one year high of $24.85.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.0315 per share. This represents a $0.13 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.51%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 2nd. This is an increase from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.03. Investar’s dividend payout ratio is 13.27%.

In other news, CFO Christopher L. Hufft sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.15, for a total transaction of $57,875.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 23,356 shares in the company, valued at approximately $540,691.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Ryan P. Finnan sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.70, for a total transaction of $71,100.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 15,314 shares in the company, valued at $362,941.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have acquired a total of 1,032 shares of company stock valued at $24,279 in the last three months. Insiders own 8.83% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Nationwide Fund Advisors purchased a new stake in shares of Investar during the 2nd quarter valued at about $104,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new stake in shares of Investar during the 2nd quarter valued at about $190,000. New York State Common Retirement Fund purchased a new stake in shares of Investar during the 2nd quarter valued at about $202,000. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Investar during the 2nd quarter valued at about $226,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Investar during the 3rd quarter valued at about $300,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.58% of the company’s stock.

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Investar Company Profile

Investar Holding Corporation is financial holding company that conducts its operations through, Investar Bank (the Bank), which is a commercial bank. The Company offers a range of commercial and retail lending products throughout its market areas, including business loans to small to medium-sized businesses, as well as loans to individuals.

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