Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) Declares $0.10 Quarterly Dividend

Business First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:BFST) announced a quarterly dividend on Friday, July 31st, Wall Street Journal reports. Investors of record on Saturday, August 15th will be given a dividend of 0.10 per share on Monday, August 31st. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 13th.

Business First Bancshares has increased its dividend by an average of 660.0% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 1 consecutive years. Business First Bancshares has a dividend payout ratio of 25.8% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Business First Bancshares to earn $1.63 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.40 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 24.5%.

BFST stock opened at $13.64 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $14.39 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $16.82. Business First Bancshares has a 1 year low of $9.17 and a 1 year high of $26.64. The stock has a market cap of $280.04 million, a PE ratio of 8.02 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a current ratio of 1.03, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58.

Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 29th. The company reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.30 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $35.92 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $33.81 million. Business First Bancshares had a return on equity of 8.75% and a net margin of 13.94%. On average, analysts forecast that Business First Bancshares will post 1.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Business First Bancshares news, Director Steven Gerard White acquired 3,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 14th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $11.18 per share, with a total value of $39,130.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 7,140 shares in the company, valued at approximately $79,825.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 7.60% of the company’s stock.

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

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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Dividend History for Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST)

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