The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBMS) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBMS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday, October 31st. The brokerage currently has a $35.00 price objective on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 8.36% from the company’s current price.

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 raised shares of The First Bancshares from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $31.00 to $30.00 in a report on Thursday, July 27th.

Shares of The First Bancshares (NASDAQ FBMS) traded down $0.05 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $32.30. 100,498 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 57,047. The First Bancshares has a 12 month low of $22.60 and a 12 month high of $32.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $361.51, a P/E ratio of 19.94 and a beta of -0.29. The company has a quick ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

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In other news, Director J Douglas Seidenburg acquired 3,000 shares of The First Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $29.00 per share, with a total value of $87,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 100,740 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,921,460. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders have purchased 4,250 shares of company stock worth $123,250 in the last three months. Insiders own 8.08% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Castine Capital Management LLC lifted its stake 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 valued at $9,730,000 after buying an additional 23,764 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its stake in 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 purchasing an additional 98,592 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in 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 purchasing an additional 32,117 shares during the period. State Street Corp purchased a new position in The First Bancshares during the second quarter worth approximately $2,633,000. Finally, Northern Trust Corp purchased a new position in The First Bancshares during the second quarter worth approximately $2,153,000. 48.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The First Bancshares Company Profile

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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