First Bancshares Inc (FBMS) Receives Average Rating of “Strong Buy” from Brokerages

First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:FBMS) has received a consensus broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the two brokers that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a strong buy rating.

Analysts have set a 12 month consensus target price of $39.50 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.67 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned First Bancshares an industry rank of 152 out of 256 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

Several analysts have recently commented on FBMS shares. BidaskClub raised shares of First Bancshares from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 27th. Stephens reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $37.00 price target on shares of First Bancshares in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th.

FBMS stock opened at $31.07 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $533.38 million, a PE ratio of 13.57 and a beta of 0.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a current ratio of 0.90. First Bancshares has a one year low of $27.84 and a one year high of $43.53.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 22nd. The bank reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $32.69 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.58 million. First Bancshares had a net margin of 18.16% and a return on equity of 11.40%. Analysts forecast that First Bancshares will post 2.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be given a dividend of $0.08 per share. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.03%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. This is a positive change from First Bancshares’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. First Bancshares’s payout ratio is presently 12.23%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FBMS. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in First Bancshares by 193.3% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 24,102 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $941,000 after purchasing an additional 15,884 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in First Bancshares by 6.9% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 50,838 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,985,000 after purchasing an additional 3,299 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in First Bancshares by 1.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 619,880 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $24,206,000 after purchasing an additional 11,732 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in First Bancshares by 28.7% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 178,286 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,962,000 after purchasing an additional 39,796 shares during the period. Finally, MetLife Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in First Bancshares by 43.9% in the third quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,780 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $343,000 after purchasing an additional 2,680 shares during the period. 51.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About First Bancshares

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.

Read More: Municipal Bonds

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

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

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