Pacific Premier Bancorp (NASDAQ: PPBI) and Heritage Financial Group (NASDAQ:HBOS) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, earnings and valuation.

Risk and Volatility

Pacific Premier Bancorp has a beta of 0.82, indicating that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Heritage Financial Group has a beta of 0.66, indicating that its stock price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Pacific Premier Bancorp and Heritage Financial Group’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Pacific Premier Bancorp $186.19 million 9.97 $40.10 million $1.62 24.78
Heritage Financial Group N/A N/A N/A $1.19 25.36

Pacific Premier Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than Heritage Financial Group. Pacific Premier Bancorp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Heritage Financial Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Pacific Premier Bancorp and Heritage Financial Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pacific Premier Bancorp 21.82% 9.21% 1.25%
Heritage Financial Group 12.90% 9.62% 0.89%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Pacific Premier Bancorp and Heritage Financial Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pacific Premier Bancorp 0 1 4 0 2.80
Heritage Financial Group 0 0 0 0 N/A

Pacific Premier Bancorp currently has a consensus price target of $45.00, suggesting a potential upside of 12.08%. Given Pacific Premier Bancorp’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Pacific Premier Bancorp is more favorable than Heritage Financial Group.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

71.4% of Pacific Premier Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 4.6% of Pacific Premier Bancorp shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Pacific Premier Bancorp beats Heritage Financial Group on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Pacific Premier Bancorp Company Profile

Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company. The Company’s subsidiary, Pacific Premier Bank (the Bank), is a California state-chartered commercial bank. The Company’s principal business is attracting deposits from small and middle market businesses and consumers and investing those deposits together with funds generated from operations and borrowings, primarily in commercial business loans and various types of commercial real estate (CRE) loans. The Company provides banking services within its targeted markets in California to businesses, including the owners and employees of those businesses, professionals, real estate investors and non-profit organizations. Additionally, it provides certain banking services nationwide. It also provides customized cash management, electronic banking services and credit facilities to Home Owners Associations (HOA) and HOA management companies nationwide. It provides the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) loans nationwide.

Heritage Financial Group Company Profile

Heritage Financial Group, Inc. (Heritage) is a bank holding company. Heritage conducts commercial banking, retail banking, mortgage banking and wealth management activities through its wholly owned subsidiary, HeritageBank of the South (the Bank). As of December 31, 2014, the Bank operated in Georgia, Florida and Alabama through 36 banking locations, 21 mortgage offices, and 5 investment offices. The Bank provides credit based products, deposit accounts, corporate cash management, investment support and other services to commercial and retail clients. As of December 31, 2014, the Company had total assets of $1.7 billion. The Company offers various types of loans, including, residential real estate loans; commercial real estate loans; construction and land loans; commercial and industrial loans, and consumer and other loans.

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