Stephens cut shares of Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has $27.00 price target on the stock.

BFST has been the subject of several other reports. FIG Partners reissued an outperform rating on shares of SmartFinancial in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. ValuEngine lowered shares of China Southern Airlines from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, April 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of FirstService from a strong sell rating to a hold rating and set a $110.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Business First Bancshares has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $27.67.

Shares of Business First Bancshares stock opened at $25.29 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. Business First Bancshares has a 1 year low of $20.64 and a 1 year high of $27.40. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $25.13. The company has a market cap of $339.38 million, a PE ratio of 17.44 and a beta of 0.18.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $21.43 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $21.29 million. Business First Bancshares had a net margin of 18.11% and a return on equity of 7.91%. Research analysts predict that Business First Bancshares will post 1.81 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. RMB Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 7.2% during the fourth quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 958,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,232,000 after buying an additional 64,338 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 525,642 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,737,000 after purchasing an additional 20,706 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 33.8% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 44,437 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,077,000 after purchasing an additional 11,233 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 5.7% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 110,079 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,667,000 after purchasing an additional 5,890 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Banc Funds Co. LLC raised its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 3.0% in the 1st quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 525,149 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,887,000 after purchasing an additional 15,149 shares during the last quarter. 43.17% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Business First Bancshares

Business First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Business First Bank that provides various banking products and services. It offers various deposit products and services, including a range of checking, demand, money market, time, and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit; and remote deposit capture and direct deposit services.

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