Shares of Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) have been assigned an average broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the three brokers that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. Business First Bancshares’ rating score has declined by 50.4% in the last three months as a result of a number of analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokers have set a 1-year consensus price target of $27.58 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.44 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Business First Bancshares an industry rank of 178 out of 256 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. FIG Partners reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of SmartFinancial in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Stephens assumed coverage on LiqTech International in a research report on Tuesday. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $13.00 target price for the company. ValuEngine downgraded China Southern Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, April 29th. DA Davidson assumed coverage on Business First Bancshares in a research report on Wednesday. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $28.00 target price for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised FirstService from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $110.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 25th.

Shares of NASDAQ:BFST traded down $0.29 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $25.00. 1,672 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 25,519. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $25.13. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. The company has a market capitalization of $339.38 million, a PE ratio of 17.24 and a beta of 0.18. Business First Bancshares has a fifty-two week low of $20.64 and a fifty-two week high of $27.40.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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. The firm had revenue of $21.43 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $21.29 million. Business First Bancshares had a return on equity of 7.91% and a net margin of 18.11%. On average, analysts expect that Business First Bancshares will post 1.81 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. RMB Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Business First Bancshares by 7.2% in the 4th quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 958,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,232,000 after buying an additional 64,338 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Business First Bancshares by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 525,642 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,737,000 after buying an additional 20,706 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Business First Bancshares by 33.8% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 44,437 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,077,000 after buying an additional 11,233 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Business First Bancshares by 5.7% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 110,079 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,667,000 after buying an additional 5,890 shares during the period. Finally, Banc Funds Co. LLC boosted its stake in shares of Business First Bancshares by 3.0% in the 1st quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 525,149 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,887,000 after buying an additional 15,149 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.17% of the company’s stock.

Business First Bancshares Company Profile

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.

Further Reading: What is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Business First Bancshares (BFST)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Business First Bancshares Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Business First Bancshares and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.