Citizens & Northern (NASDAQ: SBSI) and Southside Bancshares (NASDAQ:SBSI) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Citizens & Northern and Southside Bancshares’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Citizens & Northern 25.01% 8.80% 1.31%
Southside Bancshares 24.55% 9.07% 1.04%

Volatility & Risk

Citizens & Northern has a beta of 0.44, indicating that its share price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Southside Bancshares has a beta of 0.77, indicating that its share price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Citizens & Northern pays an annual dividend of $1.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.9%. Southside Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Southside Bancshares pays out 63.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Southside Bancshares has increased its dividend for 20 consecutive years.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Citizens & Northern and Southside Bancshares’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Citizens & Northern $62.27 million 5.44 $13.43 million N/A N/A
Southside Bancshares $224.95 million 5.67 $54.31 million $1.89 19.24

Southside Bancshares has higher revenue and earnings than Citizens & Northern.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

29.5% of Citizens & Northern shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 48.0% of Southside Bancshares shares are held by institutional investors. 4.2% of Citizens & Northern shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 17.2% of Southside Bancshares shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Citizens & Northern and Southside Bancshares, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Citizens & Northern 0 1 0 0 2.00
Southside Bancshares 0 2 0 0 2.00

Citizens & Northern presently has a consensus price target of $29.00, suggesting a potential upside of 5.21%. Southside Bancshares has a consensus price target of $37.00, suggesting a potential upside of 1.73%. Given Citizens & Northern’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Citizens & Northern is more favorable than Southside Bancshares.

Summary

Southside Bancshares beats Citizens & Northern on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Citizens & Northern

Citizens & Northern Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Citizens & Northern Bank that provides a range of banking and mortgage services to individual and corporate customers in North Central Pennsylvania and Southern New York. The company offers deposit products, including various types of checking accounts, passbook and statement savings accounts, money market accounts, interest checking accounts, individual retirement accounts, and certificates of deposits, as well as non-insured RepoSweep accounts. It also provides loans comprising mortgage loans, commercial loans, and consumer loans, as well as specialized instruments, such as commercial letters-of-credit. In addition, the company offers trust and financial management services consisting of administration of trusts and estates, retirement plans, and other employee benefit plans; investment management services; and a range of personal and commercial insurance products, as well as mutual funds, annuities, educational savings accounts, and other investment products through registered agents. It operates 26 banking offices in Bradford, Cameron, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Sullivan, and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Steuben County in New York. Citizens & Northern Corporation was founded in 1864 and is headquartered in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.

About Southside Bancshares

Southside Bancshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Southside Bank that provides a range of financial services to individuals, businesses, municipal entities, and nonprofit organizations. Its deposit products include savings, money market, and interest and noninterest bearing checking accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. The company's loan portfolio comprises consumer loans that include 1-4 family residential loans, home equity loans, home improvement loans, automobile loans, and other installment loans; commercial loans, such as short-term working capital loans for inventory and accounts receivable, short and medium-term loans for equipment or other business capital expansion, commercial real estate loans, and municipal loans; and construction loans for 1-4 family residential and commercial real estate. It also offers trust services consisting of investment management, administration, and advisory services for individuals, partnerships, and corporations; safe deposit services; and brokerage services. The company operates through 60 branches and 40 motor bank facilities located in Tyler, Longview, Lindale, Gresham, Jacksonville, Bullard, Chandler, Hawkins, Palestine, Gun Barrel City, Whitehouse, Fort Worth, Arlington, Cleburne, Euless, Flower Mound, Frisco, Granbury, Grapevine, Irving, Watauga, Weatherford, Austin, Diboll, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Cleveland, Splendora, Jasper, Pineland, Hemphill, and San Augustine; and a network of approximately 84 automated teller machines, as well as trust services, and/or loan production or other financial services offices. Southside Bancshares, Inc. was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Tyler, Texas.

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