Business First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:BFST) Expected to Announce Earnings of $0.58 Per Share

Analysts forecast that Business First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:BFST) will post $0.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have made estimates for Business First Bancshares’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.56 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.61. Business First Bancshares posted earnings per share of $0.37 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 56.8%. The firm is expected to report its next earnings results on Tuesday, April 27th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Business First Bancshares will report full-year earnings of $2.01 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.75 to $2.21. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will post earnings of $1.98 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.80 to $2.41. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that follow Business First Bancshares.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Sunday, January 24th. The company reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.50 by $0.18. Business First Bancshares had a return on equity of 8.71% and a net margin of 14.98%. The business had revenue of $49.13 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $41.37 million.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on BFST shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Business First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, April 6th. TheStreet upgraded Business First Bancshares from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Monday, April 12th.

Shares of BFST traded down $0.06 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $23.09. 13,237 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 37,462. Business First Bancshares has a 52 week low of $10.00 and a 52 week high of $24.95. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. The company’s 50 day moving average is $23.75 and its two-hundred day moving average is $20.73. The company has a market capitalization of $479.93 million, a P/E ratio of 17.41 and a beta of 0.87.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, February 28th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 15th were issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 11th. Business First Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.22%.

In other news, EVP Alicia Robertson sold 8,630 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.89, for a total value of $188,910.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Warren Mcdonald sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.25, for a total value of $46,500.00. 7.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Business First Bancshares by 11.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,073,615 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,859,000 after purchasing an additional 111,346 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its holdings in Business First Bancshares by 9.4% in the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 236,116 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,542,000 after purchasing an additional 20,201 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its holdings in Business First Bancshares by 30.3% in the fourth quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 146,745 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,988,000 after purchasing an additional 34,105 shares during the period. Mendon Capital Advisors Corp grew its holdings in Business First Bancshares by 64.2% in the fourth quarter. Mendon Capital Advisors Corp now owns 115,891 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,360,000 after purchasing an additional 45,300 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Business First Bancshares by 27.0% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 94,886 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,932,000 after acquiring an additional 20,186 shares in the last quarter. 28.27% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Business First Bancshares Company Profile

Business First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for b1BANK 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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