Stephens lowered shares of Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. They currently have $27.00 price objective on the stock.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on BFST. ValuEngine cut shares of China Southern Airlines from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, April 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of FirstService from a strong sell rating to a hold rating and set a $110.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 25th. Finally, FIG Partners reiterated an outperform rating on shares of SmartFinancial in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $27.67.

Shares of Business First Bancshares stock opened at $25.29 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a current ratio of 0.95 and a quick ratio of 0.95. The stock has a market capitalization of $339.38 million, a PE ratio of 17.44 and a beta of 0.18. Business First Bancshares has a 52-week low of $20.64 and a 52-week high of $27.40. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $25.13.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $21.43 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $21.29 million. Business First Bancshares had a net margin of 18.11% and a return on equity of 7.91%. On average, research analysts forecast that Business First Bancshares will post 1.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BFST. RMB Capital Management LLC grew its position in Business First Bancshares by 7.2% during the fourth quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 958,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,232,000 after buying an additional 64,338 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Business First Bancshares by 4.1% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 525,642 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,737,000 after buying an additional 20,706 shares during the period. Banc Funds Co. LLC grew its position in Business First Bancshares by 3.0% during 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. First Trust Advisors LP bought a new stake in Business First Bancshares during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $294,000. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in Business First Bancshares by 33.8% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 44,437 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,077,000 after buying an additional 11,233 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 43.17% 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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