Insider Buying: Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) Director Purchases 1,900 Shares of Stock

Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) Director Andrew D. Mclindon purchased 1,900 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 4th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $24.81 per share, with a total value of $47,139.00.

BFST traded down $0.11 on Thursday, reaching $24.45. The stock had a trading volume of 588 shares, compared to its average volume of 15,488. Business First Bancshares Inc has a fifty-two week low of $20.64 and a fifty-two week high of $27.40. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $23.85 and a 200-day moving average of $24.61. The company has a current ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. The company has a market capitalization of $320.80 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.30 and a beta of 0.21.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 24th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.05. Business First Bancshares had a return on equity of 8.38% and a net margin of 19.47%. The business had revenue of $24.41 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.12 million. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Business First Bancshares Inc will post 1.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, August 31st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 15th were issued a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 14th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.64%. Business First Bancshares’s payout ratio is presently 27.59%.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on BFST shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. DA Davidson reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Business First Bancshares in a report on Monday, July 22nd. Stephens cut Business First Bancshares from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $27.00 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Business First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Business First Bancshares currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.67.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Business First Bancshares by 20.8% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 656,305 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,702,000 after purchasing an additional 113,023 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Business First Bancshares by 3.7% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 551,148 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,026,000 after purchasing an additional 19,827 shares in the last quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of Business First Bancshares by 3.0% in the first quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 525,149 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,887,000 after buying an additional 15,149 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in shares of Business First Bancshares by 6.2% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 122,865 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,127,000 after buying an additional 7,122 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Business First Bancshares by 4.9% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 47,304 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,203,000 after buying an additional 2,193 shares during the period. 43.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Business First Bancshares Company Profile

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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