First Bancshares (FBMS) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

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First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Several other analysts have also recently commented on FBMS. Stephens reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $37.00 price target on shares of First Bancshares in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. BidaskClub raised First Bancshares from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, January 31st. Finally, ValuEngine cut First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th.

First Bancshares stock traded down $0.10 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $31.34. 22,165 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 32,930. First Bancshares has a twelve month low of $27.84 and a twelve month high of $43.53. The company has a current ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. The stock has a market capitalization of $541.34 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.69 and a beta of 0.29.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 22nd. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.64 by ($0.01). First Bancshares had a return on equity of 11.40% and a net margin of 18.16%. The company had revenue of $32.69 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.58 million. Equities analysts predict that First Bancshares will post 2.81 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FBMS. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in shares of First Bancshares by 6.9% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 50,838 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,985,000 after buying an additional 3,299 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of First Bancshares by 1.9% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 619,880 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $24,206,000 after buying an additional 11,732 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of First Bancshares by 28.7% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 178,286 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,962,000 after buying an additional 39,796 shares during the period. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of First Bancshares by 43.9% in the 3rd quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,780 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $343,000 after buying an additional 2,680 shares during the period. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of First Bancshares by 47.2% in the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 8,519 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $333,000 after buying an additional 2,731 shares during the period. 51.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About First Bancshares

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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