New York State Common Retirement Fund grew its stake in Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFST) by 169.1% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 8,592 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 5,399 shares during the quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund owned approximately 0.12% of Southern First Bancshares worth $318,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 19.1% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 22,203 shares of the bank’s stock worth $822,000 after buying an additional 3,564 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 2.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 188,062 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,140,000 after buying an additional 3,958 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 54.3% in the second quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust now owns 71,032 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,632,000 after buying an additional 25,000 shares in the last quarter. Stieven Capital Advisors L.P. increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 47.2% in the second quarter. Stieven Capital Advisors L.P. now owns 185,740 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,882,000 after buying an additional 59,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 7.7% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 40,619 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,326,000 after buying an additional 2,919 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.32% of the company’s stock.

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In other news, President F Justin Strickland sold 1,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.00, for a total value of $48,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 62,889 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,452,671. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 12.85% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (SFST) opened at $40.20 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 1.04 and a quick ratio of 1.03. The company has a market capitalization of $294.23, a PE ratio of 20.20 and a beta of 0.72. Southern First Bancshares, Inc. has a 1 year low of $29.25 and a 1 year high of $41.10.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $15.85 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.22 million. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 11.10% and a net margin of 21.10%. sell-side analysts expect that Southern First Bancshares, Inc. will post 2.03 EPS for the current year.

A number of analysts have commented on the company. ValuEngine cut Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, October 6th. FIG Partners restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $42.00 price target (up previously from $40.00) on shares of Southern First Bancshares in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Southern First Bancshares currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $38.67.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST)

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