S&T Bancorp (NASDAQ: STBA) and First Financial Holdings (NASDAQ:FFCH) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, earnings and valuation.

Dividends

S&T Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. First Financial Holdings does not pay a dividend. S&T Bancorp pays out 35.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for S&T Bancorp and First Financial Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
S&T Bancorp 0 3 0 0 2.00
First Financial Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A

S&T Bancorp presently has a consensus price target of $35.25, suggesting a potential downside of 3.42%. Given S&T Bancorp’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe S&T Bancorp is more favorable than First Financial Holdings.

Profitability

This table compares S&T Bancorp and First Financial Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
S&T Bancorp 26.52% 9.30% 1.14%
First Financial Holdings N/A N/A N/A

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares S&T Bancorp and First Financial Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
S&T Bancorp $246.40 million 5.18 $79.40 million $2.27 16.08
First Financial Holdings N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

S&T Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than First Financial Holdings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

53.8% of S&T Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.7% of S&T Bancorp shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

S&T Bancorp beats First Financial Holdings on 8 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

About S&T Bancorp

S&T Bancorp, Inc. (S&T) is a bank holding company. The Company operates through three segments: Community Banking, Wealth Management and Insurance. The Community Banking segment offers services, which include accepting time and demand deposits, and originating commercial and consumer loans. The Wealth Management segment offers brokerage services, serves as executor and trustee under wills and deeds and as guardian and custodian of employee benefits and provides other trust services. In addition, it is a registered investment advisor that manages private investment accounts for individuals and institutions. The insurance segment includes an insurance agency offering commercial property and casualty insurance, group life and health coverage, employee benefit solutions and personal insurance lines. The Company’s subsidiaries include S&T Bank, 9th Street Holdings, Inc. and STBA Capital Trust I.

About First Financial Holdings

First Financial Holdings, Inc. (First Financial) operates through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston (First Federal) and loan association. Other subsidiaries of First Financial include First Southeast Insurance Services, Inc. (First Southeast Insurance), which is an insurance agency; Kimbrell Insurance Group, Inc. (Kimbrell), which is a managing general insurance agency; First Southeast 401(k) Fiduciaries, Inc. (First Southeast 401(k)), which provides retirement plan consulting and administrative services, and First Southeast Investor Services, Inc. (First Southeast Investors), which is a registered broker-dealer. On July 26, 2013, First Financial Holdings, Inc. merged with and into First Financial Holdings, Inc. (formerly SCBT Financial Corporation) with the Company ceasing to exist and First Financial Holdings, Inc. continuing as the surviving corporation.

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