Brokerages Expect Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) to Post $0.45 EPS

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Shares of Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) have earned a consensus broker rating score of 1.33 (Strong Buy) from the three brokers that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company.

Brokerages have set a 1 year consensus price objective of $27.92 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.45 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Business First Bancshares an industry rank of 185 out of 256 based on the ratings given to related companies.

BFST has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Business First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. ValuEngine cut Business First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. Finally, FIG Partners restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Business First Bancshares in a research note on Thursday, April 25th.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. RMB Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Business First Bancshares by 7.2% during the 4th quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 958,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,232,000 after acquiring an additional 64,338 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Business First Bancshares by 4.1% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 525,642 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,737,000 after acquiring an additional 20,706 shares in the last quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC lifted its stake in Business First Bancshares by 3.0% during the 1st quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 525,149 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,887,000 after acquiring an additional 15,149 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Business First Bancshares by 37.7% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 405,016 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,753,000 after acquiring an additional 110,932 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Business First Bancshares by 5.7% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 110,079 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,667,000 after acquiring an additional 5,890 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.17% of the company’s stock.

Shares of BFST traded up $0.19 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $25.45. The stock had a trading volume of 22,473 shares, compared to its average volume of 14,716. Business First Bancshares has a 12 month low of $20.64 and a 12 month high of $27.66. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $24.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a current ratio of 0.95 and a quick ratio of 0.95. The firm has a market cap of $340.04 million, a P/E ratio of 17.55 and a beta of 0.12.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.01. Business First Bancshares had a return on equity of 7.91% and a net margin of 18.11%. The company had revenue of $21.43 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $21.29 million. Sell-side analysts expect that Business First Bancshares will post 1.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 31st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th were paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 14th. This is a boost from Business First Bancshares’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.57%. Business First Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.59%.

About Business First Bancshares

Business First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Business First Bank that provides various banking products and services. It offers various deposit products and services, including a range of checking, demand, money market, time, and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit; and remote deposit capture and direct deposit services.

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