Zacks Investment Research Upgrades First Bancshares (FBMS) to Buy

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The firm presently has a $38.00 target price on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 12.43% from the company’s current price.

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 firms have also recently commented on FBMS. ValuEngine upgraded First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $39.00 price target on shares of First Bancshares in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, BidaskClub cut First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ FBMS) traded up $0.05 during trading on Friday, reaching $33.80. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 18,153 shares, compared to its average volume of 22,989. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 0.86. First Bancshares has a 52 week low of $26.05 and a 52 week high of $35.10. The stock has a market capitalization of $374.95, a PE ratio of 29.39 and a beta of -0.24.

In other First Bancshares news, Director J Douglas Seidenburg purchased 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was bought at an average cost of $29.00 per share, for a total transaction of $87,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 100,740 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,921,460. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last quarter, insiders acquired 4,250 shares of company stock valued at $123,250. 8.08% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in FBMS. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the second quarter valued at about $392,000. Rhumbline Advisers acquired a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the second quarter valued at about $246,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp acquired a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the second quarter valued at about $714,000. Teachers Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the second quarter valued at about $415,000. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Bancshares in the second quarter valued at about $626,000. 47.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About First Bancshares

The First Bancshares, Inc is a bank holding company for The First, A National Banking Association (the Bank). The Company and the Bank engage in a general commercial and retail banking business for small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns and individuals. The Bank provides a range of banking services in its primary market area of South Mississippi, South Alabama and Louisiana.

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