SB One Bancorp (NASDAQ: ISTR) and Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, institutional ownership and valuation.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares SB One Bancorp and Investar’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SB One Bancorp $43.98 million 5.01 $5.69 million $1.42 19.58
Investar $57.16 million 4.60 $8.20 million $1.12 24.51

Investar has higher revenue and earnings than SB One Bancorp. SB One Bancorp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Investar, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for SB One Bancorp and Investar, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SB One Bancorp 0 2 0 0 2.00
Investar 0 0 3 0 3.00

SB One Bancorp currently has a consensus target price of $32.75, indicating a potential upside of 17.81%. Investar has a consensus target price of $29.33, indicating a potential upside of 6.86%. Given SB One Bancorp’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe SB One Bancorp is more favorable than Investar.

Risk and Volatility

SB One Bancorp has a beta of 0.35, meaning that its stock price is 65% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Investar has a beta of 0.33, meaning that its stock price is 67% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares SB One Bancorp and Investar’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SB One Bancorp 12.21% 9.30% 0.95%
Investar 15.20% 7.90% 0.83%

Dividends

SB One Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Investar pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. SB One Bancorp pays out 21.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Investar pays out 14.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Investar has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

50.7% of SB One Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 58.2% of Investar shares are owned by institutional investors. 10.5% of SB One Bancorp shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 9.1% of Investar shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Investar beats SB One Bancorp on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

SB One Bancorp Company Profile

SB One Bancorp operates as a bank holding company for SB One Bank that provides commercial banking and related financial services to individual, business, and government customers. It operates in two segments, Banking and Financial Services, and Insurance Services. The company's deposit products include personal and business checking, money market, and savings accounts, as well as time and demand deposits. Its loan portfolio comprises commercial, consumer, residential mortgage, home equity, and personal loans. The company also operates as a full service general insurance agency, which offers commercial and personal lines of insurance. It operates eight branches located in Sussex County, New Jersey; one branch in Warren County, New Jersey; one branch in Bergen County, New Jersey; and one in Queens County, New York. The company was formerly known as Sussex Bancorp and changed its name to SB One Bancorp in April 2018. SB One Bancorp was founded in 1975 and is based in Rockaway, New Jersey.

Investar Company Profile

Investar Holding Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Investar Bank that provides a range of commercial banking products for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses in South Louisiana. The company offers various deposit products and services, such as savings, checking, money market, NOW, and individual retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking services. It also provides commercial real estate loans; loans for the construction of commercial projects, and single family residential and multifamily properties; commercial and industrial loans, such as working capital lines of credit and equipment loans; consumer loans comprising secured and unsecured installment and term loans, second mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit, and auto loans, as well as loans for personal, family, and household purposes; and one-to-four family residential real estate loans consisting of second and other second mortgage loans. In addition, the company offers cash management products, including remote deposit capture, electronic statements, positive pay, ACH origination and wire transfer, investment sweep accounts, and business Internet banking services. Further, it provides various other banking services, such as cashiers' checks, direct deposit of payroll and social security checks, night depository, bank-by-mail, automated teller machine, and merchant card services. The company operates through a network of 20 full service branches. Investar Holding Corporation was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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