Santa Cruz County Bank (OTCMKTS:SCZC – Get Rating) and First Financial (NASDAQ:THFF – Get Rating) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership and risk.
Risk & Volatility
Santa Cruz County Bank has a beta of 0.91, meaning that its share price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Financial has a beta of 0.63, meaning that its share price is 37% less volatile than the S&P 500.
This table compares Santa Cruz County Bank and First Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|Santa Cruz County Bank||32.08%||N/A||N/A|
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|Santa Cruz County Bank||0||0||0||0||N/A|
First Financial has a consensus price target of $50.00, suggesting a potential upside of 8.18%. Given First Financial’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe First Financial is more favorable than Santa Cruz County Bank.
Valuation and Earnings
This table compares Santa Cruz County Bank and First Financial’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|Santa Cruz County Bank||$68.13 million||3.05||$21.30 million||$2.57||9.49|
|First Financial||$194.28 million||2.96||$52.99 million||$4.76||9.71|
First Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Santa Cruz County Bank. Santa Cruz County Bank is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than First Financial, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
Insider and Institutional Ownership
5.5% of Santa Cruz County Bank shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 67.2% of First Financial shares are held by institutional investors. 3.4% of First Financial shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.
Santa Cruz County Bank pays an annual dividend of $0.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. First Financial pays an annual dividend of $1.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Santa Cruz County Bank pays out 17.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. First Financial pays out 22.7% 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. First Financial has increased its dividend for 1 consecutive years. First Financial is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.
First Financial beats Santa Cruz County Bank on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.
About Santa Cruz County Bank
Santa Cruz County Bank provides a range of commercial and personal banking services to residents and businesses. The company's deposit products include checking, savings, term certificate, money market, and health savings accounts; and IRAs and certificate of deposits. It also offers lending products comprising commercial, multi-family, agricultural, construction, wine industry, venture banking, small business administration, business and industry, farm services agency, municipal, government guarantee, and installment loans, as well as loans supported by single-family residential real estate, commercial real estate financing, and lines of credit. In addition, the company provides debit and credit cards, merchant, online and mobile banking, remote electronic deposit, bill payment, treasury management, and cash management services. It operates through seven full-service offices located in Aptos, Capitola, Cupertino, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville; and two ATMs and night depository kiosks. Santa Cruz County Bank was incorporated in 2003 and is based in Santa Cruz, California.
About First Financial
First Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various financial services. It offers non-interest-bearing demand, interest-bearing demand, savings, time, and other time deposits. The company also provides commercial loans primarily to expand a business or finance asset purchases; residential real estate and residential real estate construction loans; and home equity loans and lines, secured loans, and cash/CD secured and unsecured loans. In addition, it offers lease financing, trust account, depositor, and insurance services. The company operates 78 branches in west-central Indiana, east-central Illinois, western Kentucky, and middle and western Tennessee. First Financial Corporation was founded in 1834 and is headquartered in Terre Haute, Indiana.
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