First Bancshares Inc (FBMS) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Strong Buy” from Brokerages

Shares of First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:FBMS) have been given an average broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the two analysts that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a strong buy recommendation.

Brokerages have set a 12 month consensus price target of $40.00 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.63 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned First Bancshares an industry rank of 172 out of 256 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

FBMS has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $39.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Stephens reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of First Bancshares in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. ValuEngine cut shares of First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of First Bancshares from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, November 3rd.

In other news, CEO M Ray Cole, Jr. sold 5,436 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.36, for a total transaction of $192,216.96. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 70,267 shares in the company, valued at $2,484,641.12. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 6.09% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Smith Shellnut Wilson LLC ADV acquired a new position in shares of First Bancshares during the third quarter worth approximately $1,393,000. Chicago Equity Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Bancshares during the third quarter worth approximately $820,000. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of First Bancshares by 25.1% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 135,887 shares of the bank’s stock worth $4,885,000 after purchasing an additional 27,278 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of First Bancshares by 60.2% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 138,490 shares of the bank’s stock worth $4,979,000 after purchasing an additional 52,040 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Bancshares by 35.7% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 608,148 shares of the bank’s stock worth $21,863,000 after purchasing an additional 159,904 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 58.85% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ FBMS opened at $31.16 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $459.52 million, a P/E ratio of 17.70 and a beta of 0.24. 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 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $26.74 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $26.48 million. First Bancshares had a net margin of 16.09% and a return on equity of 10.01%. As a group, research analysts anticipate that First Bancshares will post 2.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

First Bancshares Company Profile

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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