Brokerages Set Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) Price Target at $27.00

Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) has earned an average rating of “Hold” from the six ratings firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $27.00.

Several brokerages recently commented on BFST. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 29th. DA Davidson reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Business First Bancshares in a report on Monday, July 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd.

In related news, Director Andrew D. Mclindon bought 1,900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 4th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $24.81 per share, for a total transaction of $47,139.00. Also, EVP Donald A. Hingle II sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.49, for a total value of $36,735.00. Company insiders own 7.43% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new stake in Business First Bancshares during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $27,000. Bessemer Group Inc. purchased a new stake in Business First Bancshares during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $61,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its holdings in Business First Bancshares by 66.4% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 2,995 shares of the company’s stock worth $73,000 after purchasing an additional 1,195 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Business First Bancshares during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $86,000. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in Business First Bancshares by 31.8% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 3,428 shares of the company’s stock worth $87,000 after purchasing an additional 827 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 44.11% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ BFST traded up $0.13 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $24.79. The stock had a trading volume of 8,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 14,270. The company has a market capitalization of $326.77 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.10 and a beta of 0.22. Business First Bancshares has a 1-year low of $20.64 and a 1-year high of $26.83. The company has a quick ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $24.43 and a 200 day moving average price of $24.61.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 23rd. The company reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.46. The business had revenue of $22.18 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.47 million. Business First Bancshares had a return on equity of 8.53% and a net margin of 19.63%. On average, research analysts forecast that Business First Bancshares will post 1.83 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, November 30th. Investors of record on Friday, November 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 14th. Business First Bancshares’s payout ratio is currently 27.59%.

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 deposit; and remote deposit capture and direct deposit services.

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