Southern First Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:SFST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $32.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target indicates a potential upside of 11.93% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Greenville First Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for Greenville First Bank, N.A., a national banking association chartered under the laws of the United States. “

Separately, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods boosted their price objective on Southern First Bancshares from $28.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th.

Shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) opened at 28.59 on Wednesday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $27.90 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.00. The firm has a market cap of $181.69 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.97 and a beta of 0.63. Southern First Bancshares has a 1-year low of $19.01 and a 1-year high of $31.11.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.04. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 12.32% and a net margin of 20.29%. Equities analysts expect that Southern First Bancshares will post $1.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Southern First Bancshares news, Director Fred Gilmer, Jr. sold 2,000 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.25, for a total transaction of $54,500.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 54,751 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,491,964.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, President F Justin Strickland sold 1,400 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.00, for a total value of $37,800.00. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 56,158 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,516,266. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 14.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 0.4% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 95,865 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,310,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 0.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 192,704 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,644,000 after buying an additional 571 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 10.2% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 8,660 shares of the company’s stock valued at $209,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 30.1% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 4,229 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 978 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $144,000. 63.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southern First Bancshares Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:SFST

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

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

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