Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ: EBSB) and Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE) (NASDAQ:ABCW) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, profitabiliy and valuation.

Dividends

Meridian Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE) does not pay a dividend. Meridian Bancorp pays out 20.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Meridian Bancorp and Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE), as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Meridian Bancorp 0 2 1 0 2.33
Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE) 0 0 0 0 N/A

Meridian Bancorp currently has a consensus target price of $19.67, indicating a potential upside of 14.01%. Given Meridian Bancorp’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Meridian Bancorp is more favorable than Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE).

Profitability

This table compares Meridian Bancorp and Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE)’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Meridian Bancorp 22.50% 6.82% 0.94%
Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE) N/A N/A N/A

Institutional and Insider Ownership

65.0% of Meridian Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.1% of Meridian Bancorp shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Meridian Bancorp and Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE)’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Meridian Bancorp $146.27 million 6.01 $40.80 million $0.80 21.56
Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Meridian Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE).

Summary

Meridian Bancorp beats Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc (DE) on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Meridian Bancorp Company Profile

Meridian Bancorp Inc, formerly Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc., is a mid-tier stock holding company of East Boston Savings Bank (the Bank). The Bank is a state-chartered stock savings bank that operates from 24 full-service locations and two loan centers in the Boston metropolitan area. East Boston Savings Bank operates eight of its full-service locations and a loan center under the name Mt. Washington Bank, a division of East Boston Savings Bank. The Bank offers a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in its primary market, which consists of Suffolk, Middlesex and Essex Counties, Massachusetts. The Bank operates as a community-oriented financial institution offering financial services to consumers and businesses. As of December 31, 2011, Meridian Financial Services, Incorporated owned 59.4% interest of the Company.

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