Access National Corporation (NASDAQ: ANCX) and Citizens & Northern Corp (NASDAQ:CZNC) are both small-cap financials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, dividends, earnings and institutional ownership.

Volatility and Risk

Access National Corporation has a beta of 0.95, meaning that its stock price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Citizens & Northern Corp has a beta of 0.45, meaning that its stock price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

37.0% of Access National Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 28.8% of Citizens & Northern Corp shares are held by institutional investors. 14.2% of Access National Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.3% of Citizens & Northern Corp shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Access National Corporation and Citizens & Northern Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Access National Corporation 13.61% 8.24% 1.05%
Citizens & Northern Corp 25.58% 8.33% 1.26%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Access National Corporation and Citizens & Northern Corp’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Access National Corporation $81.82 million 7.24 $16.40 million $1.05 27.59
Citizens & Northern Corp $60.77 million 4.98 $15.76 million $1.29 19.22

Access National Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Citizens & Northern Corp. Citizens & Northern Corp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Access National Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Access National Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Citizens & Northern Corp pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.2%. Access National Corporation pays out 57.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Citizens & Northern Corp pays out 80.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Access National Corporation and Citizens & Northern Corp, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Access National Corporation 0 3 3 0 2.50
Citizens & Northern Corp 0 0 0 0 N/A

Access National Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $31.00, suggesting a potential upside of 7.01%. Given Access National Corporation’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Access National Corporation is more favorable than Citizens & Northern Corp.

Summary

Access National Corporation beats Citizens & Northern Corp on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Access National Corporation

Access National Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company operates through its subsidiary, Access National Bank (the Bank). The Bank offers a range of financial services and products, and specializes in providing customized financial services to small and medium sized businesses, professionals and associated individuals. The Company operates through three segments: traditional commercial banking, mortgage banking and wealth management. Its commercial banking segment includes loans, investment securities and deposit services. Its mortgage banking segment includes mortgage loans held for sale, sales of loans in the secondary mortgage market and loan origination. Its wealth management segment includes portfolio asset management. The commercial banking segment provides the mortgage banking segment with the short-term funds needed to originate mortgage loans through a warehouse line of credit and charges interest to the mortgage banking segment.

About Citizens & Northern Corp

Citizens & Northern Corporation is a holding company. The Company’s principal activity is community banking. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in providing a range of banking and mortgage services to individual and corporate customers in North Central Pennsylvania and Southern New York State. It offers lending products, which include mortgage loans, commercial loans and consumer loans, as well as specialized instruments. Its deposit products include various types of checking accounts, passbook and statement savings, money market accounts, interest checking accounts, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and certificates of deposit. It provides trust and financial management services, including administration of trusts and estates, retirement plans, and other employee benefit plans, and investment management services. Its subsidiaries include Citizens & Northern Bank (C&N Bank or the Bank), Citizens & Northern Investment Corporation and Bucktail Life Insurance Company.

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