Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) and HopFed Bancorp (NASDAQ:HFBC) Head-To-Head Analysis

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.2% of Ameris Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 50.4% of HopFed Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Ameris Bancorp shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.1% of HopFed Bancorp shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Ameris Bancorp has a beta of 1.45, indicating that its stock price is 45% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, HopFed Bancorp has a beta of 0.9, indicating that its stock price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ameris Bancorp and HopFed Bancorp’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ameris Bancorp $531.74 million 3.36 $121.03 million $3.38 11.11
HopFed Bancorp $44.55 million 2.92 $5.67 million N/A N/A

Ameris Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than HopFed Bancorp.

Dividends

Ameris Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. HopFed Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.7%. Ameris Bancorp pays out 11.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. HopFed Bancorp has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years. HopFed Bancorp is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Ameris Bancorp and HopFed Bancorp, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ameris Bancorp 0 0 7 0 3.00
HopFed Bancorp 0 0 0 0 N/A

Ameris Bancorp currently has a consensus target price of $51.33, suggesting a potential upside of 36.71%. Given Ameris Bancorp’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Ameris Bancorp is more favorable than HopFed Bancorp.

Profitability

This table compares Ameris Bancorp and HopFed Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ameris Bancorp 23.09% 11.24% 1.41%
HopFed Bancorp 11.43% 6.43% 0.63%

Summary

Ameris Bancorp beats HopFed Bancorp on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ameris Bancorp

Ameris Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for Ameris Bank that provides banking services to retail and commercial customers primarily in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina. The company operates through five segments: Banking Division, Retail Mortgage Division, Warehouse Lending Division, SBA Division, and Premium Finance Division. It offers commercial and retail checking, regular interest-bearing savings, money market, individual retirement, and certificates of deposit accounts. The company also provides commercial real estate, residential real estate mortgage, agricultural, and commercial and industrial loans; consumer loans, including motor vehicle, home improvement, and home equity loans, as well as loans secured by savings accounts and small unsecured personal credit lines; and municipal and commercial insurance premium finance loans. It operates 125 domestic banking offices and 16 loan production offices. Ameris Bancorp was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia.

About HopFed Bancorp

HopFed Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Heritage Bank USA, Inc. that provides various banking products and services. The company accepts various deposit products, including money market accounts, passbook savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, certificates of deposit, and time deposits, as well as non-interest bearing, savings, and interest bearing checking accounts. It also provides loans, such as one-to-four family first mortgages, home equity lines of credit, junior liens, multi-family loans, construction and land loans, non-residential real estate loans, and farm loans, as well as secured and unsecured consumer and commercial loans. In addition, the company owns a low income senior citizen housing facility that offers apartments for rent in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Further, it invests in the United States government agency securities, municipal and corporate bonds, collateralized mortgages obligations, and mortgage-backed securities. As of March 21, 2018, the company operated 18 offices in western Kentucky and middle Tennessee; Heritage Bank Wealth Management of Murray, Kentucky, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Kingston Springs, Tennessee, and Clarksville, Tennessee; and Heritage Mortgage Services of Clarksville, Tennessee, as well as loan production offices in Nashville, Tennessee, and Brentwood, Tennessee. HopFed Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 1879 and is headquartered in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

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