Equities analysts forecast that Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) will post earnings per share of $0.39 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have provided estimates for Business First Bancshares’ earnings. Business First Bancshares posted earnings of $0.34 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 14.7%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, April 25th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Business First Bancshares will report full-year earnings of $1.79 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.75 to $1.81. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will post earnings of $2.02 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.00 to $2.04. Zacks’ EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that follow Business First Bancshares.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The company reported $0.38 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38. The business had revenue of $19.61 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $19.28 million. Business First Bancshares had a net margin of 16.78% and a return on equity of 8.34%.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on BFST shares. Stephens reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $29.00 target price on shares of Business First Bancshares in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 31st. Finally, Raymond James cut shares of Business First Bancshares from a “strong-buy” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, January 7th.

NASDAQ BFST opened at $25.33 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $292.16 million and a P/E ratio of 17.47. Business First Bancshares has a twelve month low of $20.64 and a twelve month 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.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 28th. Investors of record on Friday, February 15th were paid a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 14th. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.26%. Business First Bancshares’s payout ratio is currently 22.07%.

In related news, EVP Donald A. Hingle II sold 9,053 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.13, for a total value of $218,448.89. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Norman Jerome Sr Vascocu, Sr. sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.03, for a total transaction of $144,180.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 20,053 shares of company stock worth $483,829.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its stake in Business First Bancshares by 192.6% during the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 3,467 shares of the company’s stock worth $84,000 after buying an additional 2,282 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE grew its stake in Business First Bancshares by 81.5% during the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 7,299 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,000 after buying an additional 3,278 shares during the last quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Business First Bancshares during the third quarter worth about $189,000. Bridgeway Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Business First Bancshares during the third quarter worth about $230,000. Finally, Ahrens Investment Partners LLC bought a new stake in Business First Bancshares during the third quarter worth about $244,000. 49.75% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST)

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