Brokerages Expect First Bancshares Inc (FBMS) to Post $0.63 EPS

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First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:FBMS) has been given an average broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the two brokers that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a strong buy recommendation.

Brokers have set a 1 year consensus price target of $40.00 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.63 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned First Bancshares an industry rank of 172 out of 256 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 8th. ValuEngine cut shares of First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 16th. Finally, Stephens reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of First Bancshares in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th.

NASDAQ:FBMS opened at $31.16 on Friday. First Bancshares has a 52-week low of $27.84 and a 52-week high of $43.53. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. The stock has a market cap of $459.52 million, a PE ratio of 17.70 and a beta of 0.24.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $26.74 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $26.48 million. First Bancshares had a net margin of 16.09% and a return on equity of 10.01%. On average, research analysts expect that First Bancshares will post 2.28 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO M Ray Cole, Jr. sold 5,436 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.36, for a total value of $192,216.96. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 70,267 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,484,641.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 6.09% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. IFP Advisors Inc bought a new stake in First Bancshares in the third quarter valued at about $114,000. Voya Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in First Bancshares during the second quarter worth about $202,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in First Bancshares by 37.0% during the second quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,100 shares of the bank’s stock worth $219,000 after buying an additional 1,646 shares during the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in First Bancshares by 47.2% during the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 8,519 shares of the bank’s stock worth $333,000 after buying an additional 2,731 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers grew its stake in First Bancshares by 33.9% during the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 11,862 shares of the bank’s stock worth $426,000 after buying an additional 3,005 shares during the last quarter. 58.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

First Bancshares Company Profile

The First Bancshares, Inc operates as the holding company for The First, A National Banking Association that provides general commercial and retail banking services. The company operates through three segments: Commercial/Retail Bank, Mortgage Banking Division, and Holding Company. It offers deposit services, including checking, NOW, and savings accounts; other time deposits, such as daily money market accounts and longer-term certificates of deposit; and individual retirement accounts.

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