Head to Head Comparison: Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) & Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR)

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFSTGet Rating) and Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFRGet Rating) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, dividends, earnings, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Southern First Bancshares and Cullen/Frost Bankers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southern First Bancshares 0 0 1 0 3.00
Cullen/Frost Bankers 1 5 5 0 2.36

Southern First Bancshares currently has a consensus target price of $50.00, indicating a potential upside of 16.44%. Cullen/Frost Bankers has a consensus target price of $141.08, indicating a potential upside of 2.05%. Given Southern First Bancshares’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Southern First Bancshares is more favorable than Cullen/Frost Bankers.


This table compares Southern First Bancshares and Cullen/Frost Bankers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southern First Bancshares 36.78% 14.93% 1.37%
Cullen/Frost Bankers 29.19% 11.13% 0.85%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Southern First Bancshares and Cullen/Frost Bankers’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southern First Bancshares $110.27 million 3.11 $46.71 million $5.12 8.39
Cullen/Frost Bankers $1.40 billion 6.35 $443.08 million $6.51 21.24

Cullen/Frost Bankers has higher revenue and earnings than Southern First Bancshares. Southern First Bancshares is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cullen/Frost Bankers, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

79.4% of Southern First Bancshares shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.9% of Cullen/Frost Bankers shares are held by institutional investors. 7.3% of Southern First Bancshares shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.8% of Cullen/Frost Bankers shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Southern First Bancshares has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cullen/Frost Bankers has a beta of 1.19, indicating that its stock price is 19% more volatile than the S&P 500.

About Southern First Bancshares

(Get Rating)

Southern First Bancshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Southern First Bank that provides various banking products and services to general public in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It operates through three segments: Commercial and Retail Banking, Mortgage Banking, and Corporate Operations. The company accepts various deposit products that include checking accounts, commercial checking accounts, and savings accounts, as well as other time deposits, including daily money market accounts and long-term certificates of deposit. Its loan portfolio comprises commercial real estate loans; construction real estate loans; commercial business loans for various lines of businesses, such as the manufacturing, service industry, and professional service areas; consumer real estate and home equity loans; and other consumer loans, including secured and unsecured installment loans and revolving lines of credit. In addition, the company provides other bank services, such as internet banking, cash management, safe deposit boxes, direct deposit, automatic drafts, bill payment, and mobile banking services. It operates through eight retail offices located in Greenville, Charleston, and Columbia; three retail offices located in Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte markets; and one retail office located in Atlanta. The company was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.

About Cullen/Frost Bankers

(Get Rating)

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Frost Bank that offers commercial and consumer banking services in Texas. It operates in two segments, Banking and Frost Wealth Advisors. The company offers commercial banking services to corporations and other business clients, including financing for industrial and commercial properties, interim construction related to industrial and commercial properties, equipment, inventories and accounts receivables, and acquisitions; commercial leasing; and treasury management services. It also provides consumer banking services, such as checking accounts, savings programs, automated-teller machines (ATMs), overdraft facilities, installment and real estate loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, drive-in and night deposit services, safe deposit facilities, and brokerage services. In addition, the company offers international banking services comprising deposits, loans, letters of credit, foreign collections, funds, and foreign exchange services. Further, it acts as a correspondent for approximately 171 financial institutions; offers trust, investment, agency, and custodial services for individual and corporate clients; provides capital market services that include sales and trading, new issue underwriting, money market trading, advisory, and securities safekeeping and clearance; and supports international business activities. Additionally, the company offers insurance and securities brokerage services; and holds securities for investment purposes, as well as investment management services to Frost-managed mutual funds, institutions, and individuals. It operates approximately 157 financial centers and 1,650 ATMs. The company serves energy, manufacturing, services, construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, military, and transportation industries. Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. was founded in 1868 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

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