Critical Contrast: Union Bankshares (NASDAQ:UNB) versus Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina (NASDAQ:PEBK)

Union Bankshares (NASDAQ:UNBGet Rating) and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina (NASDAQ:PEBKGet Rating) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, earnings and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Union Bankshares and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Union Bankshares 0 0 0 0 N/A
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina 0 0 0 0 N/A

Volatility and Risk

Union Bankshares has a beta of 0.82, indicating that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina has a beta of 0.77, indicating that its stock price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

13.6% of Union Bankshares shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 49.1% of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina shares are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of Union Bankshares shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 18.6% of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Union Bankshares and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Union Bankshares 24.66% 16.01% 1.10%
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina 19.90% 10.06% 0.90%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Union Bankshares and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Union Bankshares $52.24 million 2.22 $13.17 million $2.85 9.07
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina $72.10 million 2.09 $15.13 million $2.53 10.53

Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina has higher revenue and earnings than Union Bankshares. Union Bankshares is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Union Bankshares pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.4%. Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Union Bankshares pays out 49.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina pays out 28.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Union Bankshares has raised its dividend for 8 consecutive years and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina has raised its dividend for 10 consecutive years.

About Union Bankshares (Get Rating)

Union Bankshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Union Bank that provides retail, commercial, and municipal banking products and services in northern Vermont and New Hampshire. It offers retail depository services, such as personal checking, savings, money market, IRA/SEP/KEOGH, and health savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. The company also provides commercial real estate loans; commercial loans for plant and equipment, working capital, real estate renovation, and other business purposes to business owners and investors; small business administration guaranteed loans; home improvement loans and overdraft; and residential construction and mortgage loans. In addition, it offers online cash management services, including account reconciliation, credit card depository, automated clearing house origination, wire transfers, and night depository services; merchant credit card services for the deposit and immediate credit of sales drafts; remote deposit capture services; and online mortgage application services. Further, the company provides business checking accounts; standby letters of credit, bank checks or money orders, and safe deposit boxes; ATM services; debit cards; telephone, Internet, and mobile banking services; and asset management, fiduciary, and trust services. The company offers retail banking services to individuals; and commercial banking services to small and medium sized corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, as well as nonprofit organizations, local municipalities, and school districts. It operates 18 banking offices, 3 loan centers, and various ATMs. Union Bankshares, Inc. was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Morrisville, Vermont.

About Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina (Get Rating)

Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Peoples Bank that provides various commercial and consumer banking products and services to individuals and small to medium-sized businesses. It offers checking, savings, money market, and time deposits; demand deposits; and certificates of deposit, as well as borrowed funds. The company's loan products comprise commercial real estate, commercial, construction and land development, single-family residential, residential mortgage, and individual taxpayer identification number mortgage loans, as well as agricultural loans. It also provides investment counseling and non-deposit investment products, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, tax deferred annuities, and related brokerage services; and real estate appraisal and brokerage services. In addition, the company operates as a clearing-house for the provision of appraisal services for community banks; and acquires, manages, and disposes real property, other collateral, and other assets obtained in the ordinary course of collecting debts, as well as offers insurance agency services. As of December 31, 2021, it operated 17 banking offices located in Lincolnton, Newton, Denver, Catawba, Conover, Maiden, Claremont, Hiddenite, Hickory, Charlotte, Cornelius, Mooresville, Raleigh, and Cary, North Carolina. The company also operates loan production offices in Charlotte, Denver, Salisbury, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc. was founded in 1912 and is headquartered in Newton, North Carolina.

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