Business First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:BFST) Announces $0.14 Quarterly Dividend

Business First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:BFSTGet Free Report) declared a quarterly dividend on Tuesday, January 23rd, Zacks reports. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of 0.14 per share on Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 14th.

Business First Bancshares has raised its dividend payment by an average of 7.7% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 1 consecutive years. Business First Bancshares has a dividend payout ratio of 22.2% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Business First Bancshares to earn $2.43 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.56 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 23.0%.

Business First Bancshares Price Performance

Shares of NASDAQ:BFST opened at $21.81 on Monday. Business First Bancshares has a fifty-two week low of $13.05 and a fifty-two week high of $25.57. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $23.15 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $20.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.01. The firm has a market cap of $552.67 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.39 and a beta of 0.96.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFSTGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 23rd. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $101.08 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $63.40 million. Business First Bancshares had a net margin of 18.22% and a return on equity of 13.56%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.66 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Business First Bancshares will post 2.33 earnings per share for the current year.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

BFST has been the topic of several analyst reports. DA Davidson reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Business First Bancshares in a research note on Monday, January 15th. Stephens lifted their price target on shares of Business First Bancshares from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Piper Sandler lifted their target price on shares of Business First Bancshares from $23.00 to $26.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Raymond James cut shares of Business First Bancshares from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $23.33.

Read Our Latest Report on Business First Bancshares

Insider Buying and Selling at Business First Bancshares

In other news, Director James J. Buquet III sold 38,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.03, for a total value of $799,140.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 44,538 shares in the company, valued at approximately $936,634.14. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 6.45% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Business First Bancshares

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Osaic Holdings Inc. bought a new position in Business First Bancshares during the 2nd quarter valued at about $35,000. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 44.5% in the 4th quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 1,617 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,000 after buying an additional 498 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 93.7% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,644 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,000 after buying an additional 1,279 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 631.7% in the 3rd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 4,895 shares of the company’s stock valued at $92,000 after buying an additional 4,226 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Business First Bancshares by 65.3% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 5,229 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 2,065 shares during the period. 41.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Business First Bancshares

(Get Free Report)

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 checking, demand, money market, time, and savings accounts; and certificates of deposits, remote deposit capture, and direct deposit services.

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Dividend History for Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST)

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