Select Bancorp (NASDAQ: SLCT) and Associated Banc (NYSE:ASB) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation, earnings, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Select Bancorp and Associated Banc’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Select Bancorp 16.86% 6.38% 0.77%
Associated Banc 19.54% 7.81% 0.79%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Select Bancorp and Associated Banc’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Select Bancorp $37.93 million 3.77 $6.75 million $0.58 21.17
Associated Banc $1.14 billion 3.34 $200.27 million $1.45 17.41

Associated Banc has higher revenue and earnings than Select Bancorp. Associated Banc is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Select Bancorp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Select Bancorp and Associated Banc, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Select Bancorp 0 1 0 0 2.00
Associated Banc 0 11 0 0 2.00

Select Bancorp presently has a consensus price target of $13.00, suggesting a potential upside of 5.86%. Associated Banc has a consensus price target of $25.60, suggesting a potential upside of 1.39%. Given Select Bancorp’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Select Bancorp is more favorable than Associated Banc.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

18.9% of Select Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.6% of Associated Banc shares are owned by institutional investors. 14.2% of Select Bancorp shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.8% of Associated Banc 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.

Volatility and Risk

Select Bancorp has a beta of 0.28, suggesting that its stock price is 72% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Associated Banc has a beta of 1.19, suggesting that its stock price is 19% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Associated Banc pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Select Bancorp does not pay a dividend. Associated Banc pays out 38.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

Associated Banc beats Select Bancorp on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Select Bancorp Company Profile

Select Bancorp, Inc. is the bank holding company for Select Bank & Trust Company (the Bank). The Bank is a commercial bank. The Bank provides commercial and retail financial services to customers located in its market areas. The Bank offers a range of banking services, including checking and savings accounts, commercial, consumer, mortgage and personal loans, and other associated financial services. The Bank’s lending activities are oriented to the consumer/retail customer, as well as to the small-to-medium sized businesses located in central and eastern North Carolina. The Bank offers commercial, consumer and mortgage lending products. It originates construction loans for the purpose of acquisition, development and construction of both residential and commercial properties (ADC loans). The Bank’s deposits include savings, negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) account and money market deposits, time deposits and non-interest-bearing deposits.

Associated Banc Company Profile

Associated Banc-Corp is a bank holding company. The Company, through its banking subsidiary Associated Bank, National Association (the Bank) and various nonbanking subsidiaries, provides a range of banking and non-banking products and services to individuals. The Company operates through three segments: Corporate and Commercial Specialty; Community, Consumer, and Business, and Risk Management and Shared Services. The Corporate and Commercial Specialty segment consists of lending and deposit solutions to businesses, developers, not-for-profits, municipalities and financial institutions. The Corporate and Commercial Specialty segment consists of lending and deposit solutions to businesses, developers, not-for-profits, municipalities and financial institutions. The Risk Management and Shared Services segment includes Corporate Risk Management, Credit Administration, Finance, Treasury, Operations and Technology, which are shared functions.

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