Welch Group LLC Decreases Stake in ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFBS)

Welch Group LLC lessened its stake in ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFBS) by 0.2% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 237,467 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 450 shares during the quarter. Welch Group LLC owned about 0.44% of ServisFirst Bancshares worth $7,872,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SFBS. Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in ServisFirst Bancshares in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $7,409,000. Davis Capital Partners LLC boosted its holdings in ServisFirst Bancshares by 15.2% in the 2nd quarter. Davis Capital Partners LLC now owns 1,300,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $44,538,000 after acquiring an additional 171,182 shares during the period. Arlington Partners LLC boosted its holdings in ServisFirst Bancshares by 1,153.7% in the 2nd quarter. Arlington Partners LLC now owns 92,435 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,167,000 after acquiring an additional 85,062 shares during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in ServisFirst Bancshares by 188.4% in the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 123,836 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,242,000 after acquiring an additional 80,900 shares during the period. Finally, Fidelity National Financial Inc. purchased a new position in ServisFirst Bancshares in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $2,619,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 47.18% of the company’s stock.

Shares of ServisFirst Bancshares stock traded down $0.02 on Monday, hitting $36.84. 10,367 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 128,601. The stock has a market cap of $1.94 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.56 and a beta of 1.33. The company has a quick ratio of 0.99, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.08. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $33.91 and its 200 day moving average is $32.92. ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. has a 52-week low of $29.17 and a 52-week high of $39.72.

ServisFirst Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFBS) last released its earnings results on Monday, October 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $79.22 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $78.90 million. ServisFirst Bancshares had a return on equity of 18.78% and a net margin of 35.64%. Equities research analysts forecast that ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. will post 2.65 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.175 per share. This is a boost from ServisFirst Bancshares’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. This represents a $0.70 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.90%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 31st. ServisFirst Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio is 23.72%.

SFBS has been the subject of several research analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded ServisFirst Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. DA Davidson initiated coverage on ServisFirst Bancshares in a research note on Wednesday, October 9th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $35.00 target price for the company. BidaskClub upgraded ServisFirst Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded ServisFirst Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $39.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 30th.

In other news, EVP Andrew N. Kattos purchased 834 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 22nd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $30.75 per share, with a total value of $25,645.50. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 121,834 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,746,395.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO W Bibb Lamar, Jr. sold 11,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.65, for a total value of $381,150.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 58,648 shares in the company, valued at $2,032,153.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have bought 4,334 shares of company stock valued at $129,001 and have sold 28,000 shares valued at $959,510. Corporate insiders own 13.56% of the company’s stock.

ServisFirst Bancshares Company Profile

ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for ServisFirst Bank that provides banking services to individual and corporate customers in the United States. It offers demand, time, savings, and other deposits; checking, money market, and IRA accounts; and certificates of deposit. The company also provides commercial lending products, such as seasonal loans, bridge loans, and term loans for working capital, expansion of the business, or acquisition of property, plant, and equipment, as well as commercial lines of credit; commercial real estate loans, construction and development loans, and residential real estate loans; and consumer loans, such as home equity loans, vehicle financing, loans secured by deposits, and secured and unsecured personal loans.

Further Reading: Momentum Indicators

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for ServisFirst Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFBS)

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