Southern First Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:SFST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $32.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 10.84% from the stock’s previous close.

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 boosted their target price on shares of Southern First Bancshares from $28.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th.

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Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) opened at 28.87 on Wednesday. Southern First Bancshares has a one year low of $19.01 and a one year high of $31.11. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $27.79 and a 200-day moving average of $25.96. The company has a market cap of $183.47 million, a PE ratio of 16.13 and a beta of 0.63.

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

In other Southern First Bancshares news, Director Fred Gilmer, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.25, for a total transaction of $54,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 54,751 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,491,964.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, President F Justin Strickland sold 1,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.00, for a total transaction of $37,800.00. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 56,158 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,516,266. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 14.50% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. RMB Capital Management LLC increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 3.5% in the first quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 227,687 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,558,000 after buying an additional 7,737 shares during the last quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management bought a new position in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $159,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp bought a new position in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $285,000. California State Teachers Retirement System bought a new position in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $290,000. Finally, Mendon Capital Advisors Corp increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 88.0% in the second quarter. Mendon Capital Advisors Corp now owns 291,722 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,030,000 after buying an additional 136,570 shares during the last quarter. 63.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Southern First Bancshares

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:SFST

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