Investar (ISTR) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Investar Holding Corporation is a bank holding company for Investar Bank. It offers a range of commercial and retail lending products throughout its market areas, including business loans to small to medium-sized businesses and professional concerns, as well as loans to individuals. The company accepts various deposit products, including savings, checking, money market, and NOW accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts. It also provides cash management products and services, such as remote deposit capture, electronic statements, positive pay, ACH origination and wire transfer, investment sweep accounts, and business Internet banking, as well as debit cards and mobile banking services. Investar Holding Corporation is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “

Separately, ValuEngine cut shares of Investar from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, March 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $28.75.

Shares of NASDAQ ISTR opened at $23.00 on Friday. Investar has a 1 year low of $19.49 and a 1 year high of $29.90. The stock has a market cap of $233.17 million, a P/E ratio of 14.02 and a beta of 0.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23, a current ratio of 1.03 and a quick ratio of 1.03.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 28th. The financial services provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.02. Investar had a net margin of 17.40% and a return on equity of 9.02%. The company had revenue of $15.64 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.93 million. As a group, research analysts forecast that Investar will post 1.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 30th. Investors of record on Monday, April 8th will be given a dividend of $0.052 per share. This is a boost from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. This represents a $0.21 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, April 5th. Investar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 12.80%.

In other news, Director Robert Chris Jordan bought 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 15th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $23.50 per share, with a total value of $117,500.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 34,858 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $819,163. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Andrew C. Nelson bought 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 31st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $24.03 per share, with a total value of $48,060.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired 7,383 shares of company stock valued at $174,635 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 9.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Investar by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 32,570 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $808,000 after buying an additional 458 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC raised its holdings in shares of Investar by 1.2% during the fourth quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 47,183 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,170,000 after purchasing an additional 580 shares during the last quarter. Ramsey Quantitative Systems raised its holdings in shares of Investar by 65.4% during the fourth quarter. Ramsey Quantitative Systems now owns 3,166 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $79,000 after purchasing an additional 1,252 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in shares of Investar by 0.4% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 387,878 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $10,414,000 after purchasing an additional 1,687 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in shares of Investar by 2.1% during the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 101,846 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,526,000 after purchasing an additional 2,112 shares during the last quarter. 54.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Investar

Investar Holding Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Investar Bank that provides a range of commercial banking products for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses in South Louisiana. The company offers various deposit products and services, such as savings, checking, money market, NOW, and individual retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking services.

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