Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Greenville First Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for Greenville First Bank, N.A., a national banking association chartered under the laws of the United States. “

SFST has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub cut shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 8th. Sandler O’Neill cut shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.50.

Southern First Bancshares stock traded down $0.30 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $39.80. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 700 shares, compared to its average volume of 13,320. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.04. The firm has a market cap of $298.88 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.61 and a beta of 0.48. Southern First Bancshares has a twelve month low of $34.83 and a twelve month high of $48.75.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The bank reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.03. Southern First Bancshares had a net margin of 21.88% and a return on equity of 11.13%. equities analysts predict that Southern First Bancshares will post 2.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Southern First Bancshares news, CEO R Arthur Seaver, Jr. sold 18,000 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.68, for a total transaction of $750,240.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 44,876 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,870,431.68. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director David G. Ellison purchased 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 18th. The shares were bought at an average price of $40.35 per share, for a total transaction of $40,350.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 40,728 shares in the company, valued at $1,643,374.80. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 10.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SFST. LPL Financial LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern First Bancshares during the 1st quarter valued at $207,000. Rhumbline Advisers grew its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 25.1% during the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 6,876 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $304,000 after acquiring an additional 1,379 shares in the last quarter. Globeflex Capital L P grew its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 14.8% during the 2nd quarter. Globeflex Capital L P now owns 9,300 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $411,000 after acquiring an additional 1,200 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 9,517.2% during the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 9,521 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $421,000 after acquiring an additional 9,422 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE grew its holdings in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 420.8% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 9,896 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $437,000 after acquiring an additional 7,996 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.41% of the company’s stock.

Southern First Bancshares Company Profile

Southern First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Southern First Bank that provides various banking products and services to general public in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It accepts various deposit products that include checking accounts, commercial checking accounts, savings accounts, and other time deposits, including daily money market accounts and certificates of deposit.

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