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

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. “

Separately, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their price objective on Southern First Bancshares from $28.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th.

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Shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) traded up 2.41% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $28.87. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,794 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $27.79 and its 200 day moving average price is $25.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $183.47 million, a PE ratio of 16.13 and a beta of 0.63. Southern First Bancshares has a 1-year low of $19.01 and a 1-year high of $31.11.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.04. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 12.33% and a net margin of 20.30%. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Southern First Bancshares will post $1.89 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, President F Justin Strickland sold 1,400 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.00, for a total value of $37,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now owns 56,158 shares in the company, valued at $1,516,266. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Fred Gilmer, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.25, for a total value of $54,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 54,751 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,491,964.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 14.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. bought a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter worth about $965,000. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 14,042.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 134,781 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,248,000 after buying an additional 133,828 shares during the period. BlackRock Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 2,450.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC now owns 23,361 shares of the company’s stock worth $563,000 after buying an additional 22,445 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 9.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 182,395 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,396,000 after buying an additional 15,421 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 0.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 192,704 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,644,000 after buying an additional 571 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.19% of the company’s stock.

Southern First Bancshares Company Profile

Southern First Bancshares, Inc is a bank holding company that owns the capital stock of Southern First Bank (the Bank), a South Carolina state bank, and all of the stock of Greenville First Statutory Trust I and II (the Trusts). The Bank is a commercial bank with approximately nine retail offices located in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.

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