Shares of Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFST) have earned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the six analysts that are covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and five have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $40.50.

SFST has been the topic of a number of research reports. BidaskClub raised Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday. ValuEngine raised Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, February 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Saturday, December 30th.

In other Southern First Bancshares news, CFO Michael D. Dowling sold 4,000 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.29, for a total value of $169,160.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 28,007 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,184,416.03. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, President F Justin Strickland sold 657 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total value of $28,908.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now directly owns 72,232 shares in the company, valued at $3,178,208. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 9,657 shares of company stock worth $416,122 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 12.85% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in Southern First Bancshares in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $189,000. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC purchased a new position in Southern First Bancshares in the 4th quarter worth approximately $226,000. Rhumbline Advisers purchased a new position in Southern First Bancshares in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $253,000. OxFORD Asset Management LLP purchased a new position in Southern First Bancshares in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $312,000. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 169.1% during the second quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 8,592 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $318,000 after buying an additional 5,399 shares during the period. 69.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Southern First Bancshares (SFST) traded up $0.70 on Tuesday, hitting $43.70. The stock had a trading volume of 15,703 shares, compared to its average volume of 18,210. The company has a market cap of $321.11, a P/E ratio of 21.96 and a beta of 0.67. The company has a current ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. Southern First Bancshares has a 12-month low of $31.40 and a 12-month high of $44.65.

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About Southern First Bancshares

Southern First Bancshares, Inc is a bank holding company that owns the capital stock of Southern First Bank (the Bank), a South Carolina state bank, and all of the stock of Greenville First Statutory Trust I and II (the Trusts). The Bank is a commercial bank with approximately nine retail offices located in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.

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