Zacks: Business First Bancshares Inc (BFST) Given Consensus Rating of “Strong Buy” by Brokerages

Shares of Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) have been assigned an average broker rating score of 1.33 (Strong Buy) from the three analysts that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Business First Bancshares’ rating score has declined by 33% in the last 90 days as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.

Analysts have set a one year consensus target price of $29.17 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.39 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Business First Bancshares an industry rank of 171 out of 256 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on BFST. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Business First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 21st. Raymond James lowered shares of Business First Bancshares from a “strong-buy” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday. Finally, FIG Partners initiated coverage on shares of Business First Bancshares in a research report on Monday, September 24th. They set an “outperform” rating for the company.

NASDAQ BFST opened at $22.90 on Friday. Business First Bancshares has a 1 year low of $20.64 and a 1 year high of $30.00. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last posted its earnings results on Monday, October 22nd. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37. Business First Bancshares had a net margin of 13.03% and a return on equity of 5.72%. The firm had revenue of $17.18 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $17.54 million. As a group, equities analysts predict that Business First Bancshares will post 1.46 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CFO Greg Robertson purchased 3,000 shares of Business First Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 6th. The stock was bought at an average price of $26.15 per share, for a total transaction of $78,450.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of BFST. Rhumbline Advisers bought a new position in Business First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $231,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp bought a new position in Business First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $632,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in Business First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $464,000. BlackRock Inc. bought a new position in Business First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $12,080,000. Finally, Northern Trust Corp bought a new position in Business First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $2,053,000. Institutional investors own 49.63% of the company’s stock.

About Business First Bancshares

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 deposits, debit cards, remote deposit capture, online banking, mobile banking, e-Statements, bank-by-mail, and direct deposit services.

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