Short Interest in Investar Holding Corp (NASDAQ:ISTR) Rises By 28.6%

Investar Holding Corp (NASDAQ:ISTR) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 71,100 shares, an increase of 28.6% from the May 30th total of 55,300 shares. Approximately 0.8% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 15,900 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.5 days.

In other news, CFO Christopher L. Hufft sold 1,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.55, for a total transaction of $29,437.50. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 26,006 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $612,441.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 9.64% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ISTR. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in Investar by 1,138.8% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,883 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $43,000 after acquiring an additional 1,731 shares in the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY acquired a new stake in Investar in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $82,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Investar in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $112,000. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its stake in Investar by 82.5% in the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 5,759 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $143,000 after acquiring an additional 2,603 shares in the last quarter. Finally, KG&L Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Investar in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $248,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 54.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on ISTR shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Xylem from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 21st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Green Plains from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 27th. DA Davidson started coverage on shares of Business First Bancshares in a research note on Wednesday. They set a “neutral” rating and a $28.00 price objective on the stock. FIG Partners reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Sterling Bancorp in a research note on Monday, April 29th. Finally, Raymond James downgraded shares of First Midwest Bancorp to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Investar has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $28.75.

Shares of NASDAQ ISTR traded down $0.07 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $23.82. 10,710 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 16,834. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.01. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $23.64. Investar has a one year low of $19.49 and a one year high of $28.69. The stock has a market cap of $238.92 million, a P/E ratio of 14.52 and a beta of 0.15.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.01. Investar had a net margin of 18.46% and a return on equity of 9.03%. The firm had revenue of $16.44 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.42 million. Equities analysts predict that Investar will post 1.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 31st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.055 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, July 5th. This is an increase from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. This represents a $0.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.92%. Investar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 13.41%.

Investar Company Profile

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, and individual retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking services.

Recommended Story: Conference Calls and Individual Investors

Receive News & Ratings for Investar Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Investar and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.