First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “The FIRST BANCSHARES, INC., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the parent company of The First, A National Banking Association. The First is now ranked in the top twenty banks by asset size in Mississippi. The First has operations in Hattiesburg, Laurel, Purvis, Picayune, Pascagoula, Bay St. Louis, Wiggins and Gulfport, Mississippi. The Company and its subsidiary bank engage in a general commercial and retail banking business characterized by personalized service and local decision-making, emphasizing the banking needs of small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns and individuals. The products and services offered by the bank include deposit services, loan products, mortgage loan divisions and other services. “

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded First Bancshares from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. ValuEngine cut First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th.

Shares of FBMS opened at $29.90 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31, a current ratio of 0.89 and a quick ratio of 0.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $510.93 million, a PE ratio of 13.06 and a beta of 0.32. First Bancshares has a 1 year low of $27.84 and a 1 year high of $43.53.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 22nd. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $32.69 million during 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 10.24%. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that First Bancshares will post 2.81 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Trustcore Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in First Bancshares during the first quarter worth approximately $53,000. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 16,750.0% during the fourth quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 2,696 shares of the bank’s stock worth $78,000 after purchasing an additional 2,680 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 40.5% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,603 shares of the bank’s stock worth $79,000 after purchasing an additional 750 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 508.0% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,590 shares of the bank’s stock worth $80,000 after purchasing an additional 2,164 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 284.2% during the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 3,623 shares of the bank’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 2,680 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.54% of the company’s stock.

About First Bancshares

The First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank 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.

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