Raymond James upgraded shares of Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports.

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on ISTR. ValuEngine raised shares of Xylem from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 21st. FIG Partners reissued an outperform rating on shares of Sterling Bancorp in a research note on Monday, April 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Green Plains from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Thursday, June 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $28.75.

Shares of NASDAQ:ISTR traded up $0.07 during trading on Monday, reaching $23.89. 7,000 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 16,742. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $23.63. The firm has a market cap of $236.95 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.57 and a beta of 0.15. Investar has a 1-year low of $19.49 and a 1-year high of $28.69. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $16.44 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $16.42 million. Investar had a net margin of 18.46% and a return on equity of 9.03%. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Investar will post 1.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 31st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.055 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, July 5th. This represents a $0.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.92%. This is a positive change from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. Investar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 13.41%.

In related news, CFO Christopher L. Hufft sold 1,250 shares of Investar stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.55, for a total value of $29,437.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 26,006 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $612,441.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 9.64% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in shares of Investar by 1,138.8% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,883 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $43,000 after purchasing an additional 1,731 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY acquired a new position in Investar during the 4th quarter worth $82,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Investar during the 4th quarter worth $112,000. Bank of America Corp DE lifted its position in Investar by 82.5% during the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 5,759 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $143,000 after acquiring an additional 2,603 shares during the last quarter. Finally, KG&L Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Investar during the 4th quarter worth $248,000. 54.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Investar Company Profile

Investar Holding Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Investar Bank that provides a range of commercial banking products for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses in South Louisiana. The company offers various deposit products and services, such as savings, checking, money market, and individual retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking services.

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