The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBMS) has earned a consensus broker rating score of 1.33 (Strong Buy) from the three brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating on the company.

Brokers have set a 12 month consensus target price of $33.83 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.48 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given The First Bancshares an industry rank of 196 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on FBMS shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of The First Bancshares in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Zacks Investment Research raised The First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st.

Shares of The First Bancshares (NASDAQ FBMS) opened at $33.35 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $375.51, a P/E ratio of 20.71 and a beta of -0.29. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. The First Bancshares has a 12-month low of $24.05 and a 12-month high of $33.85.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 3rd were issued a dividend of $0.0375 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 2nd. This represents a $0.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.45%. The First Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.04%.

In other The First Bancshares news, Director J Douglas Seidenburg purchased 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was bought at an average cost of $29.00 per share, for a total transaction of $87,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 100,740 shares in the company, valued at $2,921,460. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Over the last quarter, insiders have bought 4,250 shares of company stock valued at $123,250. Corporate insiders own 8.08% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Castine Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of The First Bancshares by 7.9% during the third quarter. Castine Capital Management LLC now owns 322,714 shares of the bank’s stock worth $9,730,000 after buying an additional 23,764 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in shares of The First Bancshares by 46.9% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 308,592 shares of the bank’s stock worth $8,517,000 after buying an additional 98,592 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of The First Bancshares by 15.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 245,310 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,770,000 after buying an additional 32,117 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp acquired a new position in shares of The First Bancshares during the second quarter worth approximately $2,633,000. Finally, Northern Trust Corp acquired a new position in shares of The First Bancshares during the second quarter worth approximately $2,153,000. Institutional investors own 47.39% of the company’s stock.

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About The First Bancshares

The First Bancshares, Inc is a bank holding company for The First, A National Banking Association (the Bank). The Company and the Bank engage in a general commercial and retail banking business for small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns and individuals. The Bank provides a range of banking services in its primary market area of South Mississippi, South Alabama and Louisiana.

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