Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: WTFC) and Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE:SNV) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, risk and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Wintrust Financial Corporation and Synovus Financial Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Wintrust Financial Corporation 19.24% 9.15% 0.89%
Synovus Financial Corp. 20.68% 9.88% 0.92%

Dividends

Wintrust Financial Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Synovus Financial Corp. pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Wintrust Financial Corporation pays out 14.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Synovus Financial Corp. pays out 27.1% 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. Wintrust Financial Corporation has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

89.7% of Wintrust Financial Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.4% of Synovus Financial Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Wintrust Financial Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.5% of Synovus Financial Corp. shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Wintrust Financial Corporation has a beta of 0.81, indicating that its stock price is 19% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Synovus Financial Corp. has a beta of 1.12, indicating that its stock price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Wintrust Financial Corporation and Synovus Financial Corp.’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Wintrust Financial Corporation $1.07 billion 3.88 $221.13 million $3.97 18.77
Synovus Financial Corp. $1.20 billion 4.40 $268.87 million $2.21 19.63

Synovus Financial Corp. has higher revenue and earnings than Wintrust Financial Corporation. Wintrust Financial Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Synovus Financial Corp., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Wintrust Financial Corporation and Synovus Financial Corp., as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Wintrust Financial Corporation 0 5 2 0 2.29
Synovus Financial Corp. 0 8 4 0 2.33

Wintrust Financial Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $78.67, suggesting a potential upside of 5.55%. Synovus Financial Corp. has a consensus price target of $43.14, suggesting a potential downside of 0.55%. Given Wintrust Financial Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Wintrust Financial Corporation is more favorable than Synovus Financial Corp..

Summary

Synovus Financial Corp. beats Wintrust Financial Corporation on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Wintrust Financial Corporation

Wintrust Financial Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company conducts its businesses through three segments: community banking, specialty finance and wealth management. The Company offers community banking services to individuals, small to mid-sized businesses, local governmental units and institutional clients. Through specialty finance segment, the Company offers financing of insurance premiums for businesses and individuals; accounts receivable financing, value-added, out-sourced administrative services, and other specialty finance businesses. The Company offers a range of wealth management services through its subsidiaries, including trust and investment services, asset management and securities brokerage services. The Company offers MaxSafe deposit accounts, which provide customers with expanded Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance coverage by spreading a customer’s deposit across its banks.

About Synovus Financial Corp.

Synovus Financial Corp. is a financial services company and a bank holding company. The Company provides integrated financial services, including commercial and retail banking, financial management, insurance and mortgage services, to its customers through locally branded banking divisions of its subsidiary bank, Synovus Bank (the Bank), and other offices in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. The Bank offers commercial banking services and retail banking services. The Bank’s commercial banking services include cash management, asset management, capital markets services, institutional trust services, and commercial, financial and real estate loans. Its retail banking services include mortgage, installment and other retail loans; investment and brokerage services; safe deposit services; automated banking services; automated fund transfers; Internet-based banking services, and bank credit card services, including MasterCard and Visa services.

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