First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMSGet Rating) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released 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. “

FBMS has been the subject of several other research reports. DA Davidson cut their target price on First Bancshares to $4.00 and set a na rating for the company in a research note on Monday, May 16th. StockNews.com assumed coverage on First Bancshares in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They set a buy rating for the company.

FBMS stock opened at $29.60 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25. The company’s 50 day moving average is $32.94 and its 200 day moving average is $36.49. The stock has a market cap of $643.50 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.67 and a beta of 1.07. First Bancshares has a 1-year low of $28.95 and a 1-year high of $42.89.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMSGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 26th. The bank reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.72. First Bancshares had a net margin of 30.15% and a return on equity of 9.67%. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that First Bancshares will post 3.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 25th. Investors of record on Tuesday, May 10th will be paid a $0.18 dividend. This is a positive change from First Bancshares’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 9th. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.43%. First Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 23.53%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in First Bancshares in the fourth quarter worth $57,000. Royal Bank of Canada lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 72.8% in the third quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 2,398 shares of the bank’s stock worth $93,000 after acquiring an additional 1,010 shares during the period. Citigroup Inc. lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 96.1% in the third quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 2,669 shares of the bank’s stock worth $104,000 after acquiring an additional 1,308 shares during the period. UBS Group AG lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 1,274.0% in the third quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 5,496 shares of the bank’s stock worth $213,000 after acquiring an additional 5,096 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 94.0% in the third quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 5,751 shares of the bank’s stock worth $223,000 after acquiring an additional 2,786 shares during the period. 65.17% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

First Bancshares Company Profile (Get Rating)

The First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank 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 and health savings accounts.

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