Investar Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ISTR) Sees Significant Decline in Short Interest

Investar Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ISTRGet Rating) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest during the month of May. As of May 15th, there was short interest totalling 13,900 shares, a decrease of 35.6% from the April 30th total of 21,600 shares. Approximately 0.2% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 20,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 0.7 days.

In other news, insider Jeffrey Wayne Martin acquired 1,714 shares of Investar stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 2nd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $20.41 per share, for a total transaction of $34,982.74. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders have bought a total of 2,214 shares of company stock worth $44,764 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 10.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ISTR. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in Investar by 42.6% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 18,674 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $428,000 after buying an additional 5,576 shares during the period. Citadel Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Investar in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $361,000. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Investar by 1.0% in the 3rd quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 101,921 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,244,000 after purchasing an additional 1,004 shares during the period. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Investar in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $2,228,000. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP lifted its stake in shares of Investar by 28.9% in the 3rd quarter. Trexquant Investment LP now owns 11,270 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $248,000 after purchasing an additional 2,530 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.71% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ ISTR traded up $0.64 on Friday, hitting $21.79. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 19,828 shares, compared to its average volume of 30,426. Investar has a 52-week low of $17.08 and a 52-week high of $23.69. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $19.52 and its 200 day simple moving average is $19.08. The firm has a market cap of $224.44 million, a P/E ratio of 17.86 and a beta of 0.52.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, April 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 31st were issued a $0.085 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 30th. This represents a $0.34 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.56%. This is a boost from Investar’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. Investar’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.87%.

Several research firms recently issued reports on ISTR. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Investar from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 6th. StockNews.com began coverage on Investar in a research report on Sunday. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Investar from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a research report 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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