C1 Financial (NYSE: BNK) and First Merchants (NASDAQ:FRME) are both financials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, risk, earnings, profitability and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for C1 Financial and First Merchants, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
C1 Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A
First Merchants 0 1 1 0 2.50

First Merchants has a consensus target price of $46.50, suggesting a potential upside of 9.41%. Given First Merchants’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe First Merchants is more favorable than C1 Financial.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares C1 Financial and First Merchants’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
C1 Financial N/A N/A N/A $0.98 23.87
First Merchants $318.52 million 6.56 $81.05 million $2.18 19.50

First Merchants has higher revenue and earnings than C1 Financial. First Merchants is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than C1 Financial, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


First Merchants pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. C1 Financial does not pay a dividend. First Merchants pays out 33.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

69.6% of First Merchants shares are held by institutional investors. 1.4% of First Merchants shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares C1 Financial and First Merchants’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
C1 Financial 23.30% 9.17% 1.06%
First Merchants 26.28% 9.56% 1.26%


First Merchants beats C1 Financial on 10 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About C1 Financial

C1 Financial, Inc. is a bank holding company. The Company is focused on serving the needs of entrepreneurs offering relationship banking services to entrepreneurs and their families, including commercial loans and a range of depository products. The Company operates from approximately 30 banking centers and over one loan production office on the West Coast of Florida and in Miami-Dade, Broward and Orange Counties. The Company offers a range of short and medium-term small business and real estate, commercial and consumer loans. It makes residential real estate loans to qualified individuals for the purchase of existing single-family residences in its markets. Its commercial real estate loans consist of loans to developers of both commercial and residential properties. Its consumer loans consist of lines of credit and term loans secured by second mortgages on the residences of borrowers for a range of purposes, including home improvements, education and other personal expenditures.

About First Merchants

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company has a bank charter, First Merchants Bank (the Bank), which is opened for business in Muncie, Indiana. It operates through community banking business segment. The Bank also operates Lafayette Bank and Trust, and First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors (each as a division of First Merchants Bank). As of July 17, 2017, the Bank included 122 banking centers in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio counties. In addition to its branch network, the Company’s delivery channels include automated teller machines, check cards and Internet technology. Through the Bank, it offers a range of financial services, including accepting time deposits, savings and demand deposits; making consumer, commercial and real estate mortgage loans; renting safe deposit facilities; providing personal and corporate trust services, and providing other corporate services, letters of credit and repurchase agreements.

Receive News & Ratings for C1 Financial Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for C1 Financial and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.