Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFST) saw a significant decrease in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 66,500 shares, a decrease of 7.8% from the June 30th total of 72,100 shares. Approximately 1.0% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 17,600 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.8 days.

Shares of NASDAQ SFST traded down $1.15 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $36.59. The company had a trading volume of 11,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 17,923. Southern First Bancshares has a twelve month low of $27.33 and a twelve month high of $43.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $290.30 million, a PE ratio of 12.70 and a beta of 0.94. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $38.60 and its 200-day moving average is $36.87.

In other news, Director Fred Gilmer, Jr. sold 1,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.76, for a total value of $65,216.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 46,290 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,886,780.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Leighton M. Cubbage sold 1,270 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.01, for a total transaction of $45,732.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 84,227 shares in the company, valued at $3,033,014.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 9,120 shares of company stock valued at $361,074 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 10.51% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Mcmillion Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Southern First Bancshares in the second quarter worth $42,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 609.8% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,448 shares of the bank’s stock worth $49,000 after buying an additional 1,244 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 355.5% during the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 2,428 shares of the bank’s stock worth $78,000 after buying an additional 1,895 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in Southern First Bancshares during the first quarter worth $148,000. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 20.7% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 7,720 shares of the bank’s stock worth $297,000 after buying an additional 1,322 shares during the last quarter. 72.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

SFST has been the topic of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $42.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, August 9th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 4th. Finally, FIG Partners reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Southern First Bancshares in a research note on Thursday, May 16th.

About Southern First Bancshares

Southern First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Southern First Bank that provides various banking products and services to general public in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It accepts various deposit products that include checking accounts, commercial checking accounts, savings accounts, and other time deposits, including daily money market accounts and long-term certificates of deposit.

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