Investar Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ISTR) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Investar Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ISTRGet Rating) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 21,600 shares, a growth of 127.4% from the April 15th total of 9,500 shares. Approximately 0.2% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 17,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.2 days.

In related news, insider Jeffrey Wayne Martin acquired 1,714 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 2nd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $20.41 per share, for a total transaction of $34,982.74. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders have purchased a total of 2,314 shares of company stock valued at $46,759 over the last 90 days. 10.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ISTR. Savant Capital LLC purchased a new position in Investar in the fourth quarter worth $215,000. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC purchased a new position in Investar in the first quarter worth $239,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Investar by 4.3% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 12,901 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $246,000 after acquiring an additional 526 shares in the last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP raised its position in Investar by 28.9% in the third quarter. Trexquant Investment LP now owns 11,270 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $248,000 after acquiring an additional 2,530 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Citadel Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Investar in the second quarter worth $361,000. 56.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Investar stock traded down $0.01 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $19.89. 13,297 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 23,572. Investar has a twelve month low of $17.08 and a twelve month high of $23.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a current ratio of 0.88. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $19.35 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $18.95. The firm has a market cap of $204.87 million, a PE ratio of 16.30 and a beta of 0.52.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 31st were issued a dividend of $0.085 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 30th. This is an increase from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. This represents a $0.34 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.71%. Investar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 27.87%.

ISTR has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Investar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 6th. StockNews.com began coverage on Investar in a research note on Friday. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Finally, TheStreet raised Investar from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 3rd.

Investar Company Profile (Get Rating)

Investar Holding Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Investar Bank that provides a range of commercial banking products to 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.

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