Southern First Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:SFST) has earned a consensus broker rating score of 1.50 (Buy) from the two brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Southern First Bancshares’ rating score has declined by 50% from 90 days ago as a result of various analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokers have set a 12 month consensus price objective of $30.75 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.48 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Southern First Bancshares an industry rank of 105 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on SFST shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upped their price target on 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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In other news, Director Fred Gilmer, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 18th. The stock was 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, President F Justin Strickland sold 1,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The shares were 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 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. 14.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Southern First Bancshares by 30.1% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 4,229 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 978 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors acquired a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter worth $144,000. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management acquired a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter worth $159,000. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its stake in Southern First Bancshares by 10.2% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 8,660 shares of the company’s stock worth $209,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter worth $213,000. 63.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) traded down 0.606% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $28.695. 1,937 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $27.79 and a 200 day moving average price of $25.96. Southern First Bancshares has a 52-week low of $19.01 and a 52-week high of $31.11. The company has a market cap of $182.36 million, a PE ratio of 16.031 and a beta of 0.63.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share 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%. Equities analysts predict that Southern First Bancshares will post $1.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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.

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