$0.38 EPS Expected for Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) This Quarter

Wall Street brokerages predict that Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) will report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.38 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have provided estimates for Business First Bancshares’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.35 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.39. Business First Bancshares reported earnings per share of $0.46 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 17.4%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings results on Wednesday, October 28th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Business First Bancshares will report full year earnings of $1.51 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.24 to $1.68. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $1.63 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.20 to $2.05. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for Business First Bancshares.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 29th. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $35.92 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $33.81 million. Business First Bancshares had a return on equity of 8.75% and a net margin of 13.94%.

Several research firms recently weighed in on BFST. BidaskClub upgraded Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 10th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. ValuEngine upgraded Business First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 3rd. Raymond James downgraded shares of Business First Bancshares from a “strong-buy” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 29th. Finally, DA Davidson downgraded shares of Business First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $15.00 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, May 1st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $22.25.

In other news, Director Steven Gerard White bought 3,500 shares of Business First Bancshares stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 14th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $11.18 per share, for a total transaction of $39,130.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 7,140 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $79,825.20. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders own 7.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of Montreal Can increased its holdings in shares of Business First Bancshares by 45.0% during the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,585 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,000 after acquiring an additional 492 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio acquired a new position in shares of Business First Bancshares during the first quarter valued at about $32,000. Citigroup Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Business First Bancshares by 65.2% during the fourth quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 2,503 shares of the company’s stock valued at $62,000 after acquiring an additional 988 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Business First Bancshares by 58.4% during the first quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 5,377 shares of the company’s stock valued at $73,000 after acquiring an additional 1,982 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of Business First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at about $102,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 27.00% of the company’s stock.

Shares of BFST stock traded up $0.09 on Friday, hitting $13.64. The stock had a trading volume of 30,046 shares, compared to its average volume of 29,266. The company has a quick ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $14.39 and a 200 day moving average price of $16.82. The company has a market cap of $281.90 million, a PE ratio of 8.07 and a beta of 0.97. Business First Bancshares has a one year low of $9.17 and a one year high of $26.64.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 31st. Shareholders of record on Saturday, August 15th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 13th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.93%. Business First Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.22%.

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.

Further Reading: How to find the components of the quick ratio

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