Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday. They currently have $27.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Investar Holding Corporation is a bank holding company for Investar Bank. It offers a range of commercial and retail lending products throughout its market areas, including business loans to small to medium-sized businesses and professional concerns, as well as loans to individuals. The company accepts various deposit products, including savings, checking, money market, and NOW accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts. It also provides cash management products and services, such as remote deposit capture, electronic statements, positive pay, ACH origination and wire transfer, investment sweep accounts, and business Internet banking, as well as debit cards and mobile banking services. Investar Holding Corporation is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “

ISTR has been the topic of several other research reports. Hovde Group restated an outperform rating and issued a $28.00 price target on shares of Investar in a research report on Friday, December 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an overweight rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Investar in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $27.00.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) opened at $24.70 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01. The stock has a market cap of $215.35, a P/E ratio of 25.20 and a beta of 0.33. Investar has a 12-month low of $18.31 and a 12-month high of $24.85.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by ($0.01). Investar had a return on equity of 5.88% and a net margin of 14.88%. equities analysts forecast that Investar will post 1.1 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.0315 per share. This represents a $0.13 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.51%. This is a boost from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.03. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 2nd. Investar’s payout ratio is presently 13.27%.

In other Investar news, EVP Ryan P. Finnan sold 3,000 shares of Investar stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.70, for a total transaction of $71,100.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 15,314 shares in the company, valued at approximately $362,941.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Christopher L. Hufft sold 2,500 shares of Investar stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.15, for a total transaction of $57,875.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 23,356 shares in the company, valued at $540,691.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have acquired 1,032 shares of company stock worth $24,279. Corporate insiders own 8.83% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Penn Capital Management Co. Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Investar by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter. Penn Capital Management Co. Inc. now owns 52,661 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,206,000 after buying an additional 561 shares during the period. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Investar by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 41,696 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $955,000 after buying an additional 1,289 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Investar by 19.4% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 25,231 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $608,000 after buying an additional 4,093 shares during the period. Nationwide Fund Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of Investar during the 2nd quarter valued at $104,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new stake in shares of Investar during the 2nd quarter valued at $190,000. 61.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: “Investar (ISTR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy” was published by Daily Political and is the sole property of of Daily Political. If you are accessing this piece on another publication, it was stolen and republished in violation of international copyright and trademark legislation. The correct version of this piece can be accessed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2018/01/16/investar-istr-upgraded-by-zacks-investment-research-to-buy-2.html.

About Investar

Investar Holding Corporation is financial holding company that conducts its operations through, Investar Bank (the Bank), which is a commercial bank. The Company offers a range of commercial and retail lending products throughout its market areas, including business loans to small to medium-sized businesses, as well as loans to individuals.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Investar (ISTR)

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

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