Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (SFST) Receives Average Rating of “Buy” from Analysts

Shares of Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFST) have received a consensus rating of “Buy” from the six ratings firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $40.50.

SFST has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. BidaskClub cut shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 target price for the company in a research report on Saturday, December 30th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th.

In other news, CFO Michael D. Dowling sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.29, for a total transaction of $169,160.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 28,007 shares in the company, valued at $1,184,416.03. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, President F Justin Strickland sold 1,107 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total value of $48,708.00. Following the transaction, the president now owns 72,232 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,178,208. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 9,657 shares of company stock valued at $416,122 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 12.85% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Rhumbline Advisers acquired a new stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares in the second quarter worth approximately $253,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 19.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 22,203 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $822,000 after purchasing an additional 3,564 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 40.2% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 11,692 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $432,000 after purchasing an additional 3,350 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 8.1% during the 2nd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 10,609 shares of the bank’s stock worth $393,000 after purchasing an additional 799 shares during the period. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 17,521 shares of the bank’s stock worth $649,000 after purchasing an additional 1,010 shares during the period. 69.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ SFST) traded up $0.25 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $44.10. 4,387 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 16,674. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 1.04 and a quick ratio of 1.03. The company has a market capitalization of $325.88, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.06 and a beta of 0.67. Southern First Bancshares has a 12-month low of $31.40 and a 12-month high of $44.65.

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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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