First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “The FIRST BANCSHARES, INC., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the parent company of The First, A National Banking Association. The First is now ranked in the top twenty banks by asset size in Mississippi. The First has operations in Hattiesburg, Laurel, Purvis, Picayune, Pascagoula, Bay St. Louis, Wiggins and Gulfport, Mississippi. The Company and its subsidiary bank engage in a general commercial and retail banking business characterized by personalized service and local decision-making, emphasizing the banking needs of small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns and individuals. The products and services offered by the bank include deposit services, loan products, mortgage loan divisions and other services. “

Separately, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of First Bancshares in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd.

Shares of First Bancshares (NASDAQ FBMS) traded down $0.15 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $34.20. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 65,647 shares, compared to its average volume of 24,242. The firm has a market capitalization of $383.34, a P/E ratio of 29.74 and a beta of -0.24. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. First Bancshares has a 1 year low of $26.00 and a 1 year high of $34.70.

In other news, Director J Douglas Seidenburg acquired 3,000 shares of First Bancshares stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was bought at an average price 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 approximately $2,921,460. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. In the last 90 days, insiders have bought 4,250 shares of company stock valued at $123,250. Corporate insiders own 11.76% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FBMS. RMB Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 129.3% during the first quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 497,052 shares of the bank’s stock worth $14,166,000 after purchasing an additional 280,322 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of First Bancshares by 145.8% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 213,193 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,076,000 after buying an additional 126,470 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in shares of 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 in the last quarter. State Street Corp bought a new position in First Bancshares in the 2nd quarter valued at about $2,633,000. Finally, Northern Trust Corp bought a new position in First Bancshares in the 2nd quarter valued at about $2,153,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 47.39% of the company’s stock.

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About 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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