Zacks Investment Research upgrades Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) to buy

Invest (NASDAQ:ISTR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note released Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The company currently has a price target of $21.00 on shares of the financial services provider. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 11.17% from the current stock price.

According to Zacks, “Investar Holding Corporation is a banking holding company for Investar Bank. It offers a range of commercial and retail lending products across all of its market segments, including small and medium-sized business and professional business lending, as well as personal loans.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 products and cash management services, such as remote deposit capture, account statements, positive payment, ACH bank origination and transfer, investment swipe accounts and business internet banking, and debit cards and services mobile banking. Investar Holding Corporation is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.”

Several other research companies have also recently commented on the ISTR. Piper Sandler downgraded Investar shares from an ‘overweight’ rating to a ‘neutral’ rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $27.00 to $20.00 in a Friday the 15th research report October. TheStreet downgraded Investar from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a Friday, October 22 research report.

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ISTR stock opened at $18.89 on Tuesday. Investar has a 12-month low of $15.66 and a 12-month high of $23.69. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $18.12. The company has a debt ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 0.95. The stock has a market capitalization of $195.38 million, a P/E ratio of 37.04 and a beta of 0.68.

Investar Inc (NASDAQ:ISTR) last reported quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 20. The financial services provider reported ($1.06) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of ($1.05) by ($0.01). The company posted revenue of $25.46 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $24.56 million. Investar posted a net margin of 5.15% and a return on equity of 1.57%. Stock analysts predict that Investar will post earnings per share of 0.51 for the current fiscal year.

A number of large investors have recently changed their stock holdings. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Investar by 1.0% during the third quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 101,921 shares of the financial services provider worth $2,244,000 after purchasing an additional 1,004 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada increased its holdings of Investar shares by 18.7% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 10,539 shares of the financial services provider valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 1,658 shares in the last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP increased its holdings of Investar shares by 28.9% during the third quarter. Trexquant Investment LP now owns 11,270 shares of the financial services provider valued at $248,000 after buying an additional 2,530 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP increased its holdings of Investar shares by 25.8% during the third quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 25,990 shares of the financial services provider valued at $572,000 after buying an additional 5,330 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its holdings of Investar shares by 42.6% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 18,674 shares of the financial services provider valued at $428,000 after buying an additional 5,576 shares in the last quarter. 55.33% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Investar

Investar Holding Corp. is a financial holding company that provides comprehensive banking services. It offers a full suite of commercial and retail lending products across all of its market sectors, including small and medium business loans as well as personal loans. Its lending products consist of owner-occupied commercial real estate loans, construction loans, and commercial and industrial loans, such as term loans, equipment financing and lines of credit, while its individuals include first and second mortgages, installment loans and lines of credit.

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