Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) Launch Coverage on StockNews.com

StockNews.com launched coverage on the shares of Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR – Get a rating) in a report released Saturday. The company has set a “conservation” rating on the shares of the financial services provider.

Other research analysts have also recently published reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Investar from a “buy” to a “hold” rating in a Wednesday, Feb. 2 research note. TheStreet upgraded Investar from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a Thursday, March 3 research note.

Investar stock opened at $19.17 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $19.58 and a 200-day moving average of $19.55. The company has a debt ratio of 0.50, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 0.91. Investar has a 1-year low of $17.08 and a 1-year high of $23.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $197.64 million, a PE ratio of 25.22 and a beta of 0.59.

Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, January 27. The financial services provider reported EPS of $0.56 for the quarter. Investar achieved a return on equity of 2.27% and a net margin of 7.44%. The company had revenue of $23.15 million in the quarter. As a group, sell-side analysts expect Investar to post EPS of 2.25 for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Jeffrey Wayne Martin bought 1,714 shares of Investar in a trade that took place on Wednesday, March 2. The stock was purchased at an average price of $20.41 per share, for a total transaction of $34,982.74. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. During the last quarter, insiders purchased 2,314 shares of the company valued at $46,759. 9.75% of the shares are held by insiders of the company.

Hedge funds have recently changed their positions in the stock. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in Investar by 42.6% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 18,674 shares of the financial services provider valued at $428,000 after purchasing an additional 5,576 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada increased its holdings in Investar 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 purchasing an additional 1,658 shares during the period. Citadel Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Investar in the second quarter valued at approximately $361,000. Millennium Management LLC increased its stake in Investar by 476.9% in the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 136,044 shares of the financial services provider valued at $3,114,000 after purchasing an additional 112,463 shares during the period. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new stake in Investar in the second quarter valued at approximately $473,000. Institutional investors hold 55.62% of the company’s shares.

About Investar (Get an evaluation)

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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