Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) Receives Average Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) have been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the five analysts that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $27.75.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on BFST shares. DA Davidson upgraded shares of Business First Bancshares from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $28.00 to $28.50 in a research report on Friday, January 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Business First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 11th.

NASDAQ:BFST traded up $0.17 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $24.97. 12,330 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,766. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $24.78 and a 200-day simple moving average of $24.56. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. Business First Bancshares has a fifty-two week low of $21.56 and a fifty-two week high of $25.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $331.02 million, a P/E ratio of 17.21 and a beta of 0.23.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The company reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.46. Business First Bancshares had a net margin of 19.63% and a return on equity of 8.53%. The business had revenue of $22.18 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.47 million. As a group, analysts expect that Business First Bancshares will post 1.83 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new position in shares of Business First Bancshares in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $27,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 66.4% in 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 period. Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Business First Bancshares in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $86,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 31.8% in 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 period. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY lifted its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 34.8% in the 3rd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 4,674 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 1,207 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.72% of the company’s stock.

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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