Nicholas Financial (NASDAQ:NICK) and Plumas Bancorp (NASDAQ:PLBC) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings and institutional ownership.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

35.8% of Nicholas Financial shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 20.0% of Plumas Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 27.3% of Nicholas Financial shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.8% of Plumas Bancorp shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Nicholas Financial and Plumas Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nicholas Financial -0.32% 2.90% 1.11%
Plumas Bancorp 27.96% 22.07% 1.72%

Dividends

Plumas Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Nicholas Financial does not pay a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Nicholas Financial and Plumas Bancorp, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nicholas Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A
Plumas Bancorp 0 0 0 0 N/A

Volatility and Risk

Nicholas Financial has a beta of 0.73, meaning that its stock price is 27% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Plumas Bancorp has a beta of 0.09, meaning that its stock price is 91% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Nicholas Financial and Plumas Bancorp’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nicholas Financial $83.92 million 1.76 -$1.09 million N/A N/A
Plumas Bancorp $37.23 million 3.58 $8.18 million N/A N/A

Plumas Bancorp has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Nicholas Financial.

Summary

Plumas Bancorp beats Nicholas Financial on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Nicholas Financial

Nicholas Financial, Inc. operates as a specialized consumer finance company in the United States. The company engages in acquiring and servicing automobile finance installment contracts for the purchase of new and used automobiles and light trucks. It also originates direct consumer loans and sells consumer-finance related products. As of March 31, 2018, the company operated 60 branch offices located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Nicholas Financial, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida.

About Plumas Bancorp

Plumas Bancorp operates as the holding company for the Plumas Bank that provides various banking products and services for small and middle market businesses, and individuals in Northeastern California and Northwestern Nevada. The company offers various deposit products, such as checking, interest-bearing checking, public funds and business sweep, savings, and retirement accounts, as well as time and remote deposits. Its loan portfolio comprises consumer, home equity, and automobile loans; real estate, commercial, and industrial term loans; government-guaranteed and agricultural loans; land development and construction loans; and credit lines. The company also provides cashier's check, bank-by-mail, automated teller machine (ATM), night depository, safe deposit box, direct deposit, electronic funds transfer, and other customary banking services, as well as telephone and mobile banking services, including mobile deposit and Internet banking services with bill-pay options. It operates 11 branches located in the California, including Alturas, Chester, Fall River Mills, Greenville, Kings Beach, Portola, Quincy, Redding, Susanville, Tahoe City, and Truckee; a branch in Reno, Nevada; a lending office in Auburn, California; and commercial/agricultural lending offices in Chico, California and Klamath Falls, Oregon, as well as 16 ATMs. Plumas Bancorp was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Quincy, California.

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