Northfield Bancorp (NASDAQ: NFBK) and Beneficial Bancorp (NASDAQ:BNCL) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, earnings, dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Northfield Bancorp and Beneficial Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Northfield Bancorp 23.34% 4.74% 0.78%
Beneficial Bancorp 13.47% 3.36% 0.61%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Northfield Bancorp and Beneficial Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Northfield Bancorp 0 2 0 0 2.00
Beneficial Bancorp 0 1 0 0 2.00

Northfield Bancorp currently has a consensus price target of $17.00, suggesting a potential downside of 2.27%. Beneficial Bancorp has a consensus price target of $16.50, suggesting a potential upside of 8.20%. Given Beneficial Bancorp’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Beneficial Bancorp is more favorable than Northfield Bancorp.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Northfield Bancorp and Beneficial Bancorp’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Northfield Bancorp $116.11 million 6.74 $31.51 million $0.70 24.85
Beneficial Bancorp $187.90 million 5.68 $27.32 million $0.39 39.10

Northfield Bancorp has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Beneficial Bancorp. Northfield Bancorp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Beneficial Bancorp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Northfield Bancorp has a beta of 0.33, indicating that its share price is 67% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Beneficial Bancorp has a beta of 0.54, indicating that its share price is 46% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

53.7% of Northfield Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.9% of Beneficial Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. 10.5% of Northfield Bancorp shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.8% of Beneficial Bancorp shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Northfield Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Beneficial Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Northfield Bancorp pays out 45.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Beneficial Bancorp pays out 61.5% 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. Northfield Bancorp is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

Northfield Bancorp beats Beneficial Bancorp on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Northfield Bancorp

Northfield Bancorp, Inc. is a holding company for Northfield Bank (the Bank). Northfield Bank’s principal business consists of originating commercial real estate loans and multifamily real estate loans, purchasing investment securities including mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds, as well as depositing funds in other financial institutions. Northfield Bank also offers construction and land loans, commercial and industrial loans, one- to four-family residential mortgage loans, and home equity loans and lines of credit. Northfield Bank offers a variety of deposit accounts, including certificates of deposit, passbook, statement and money market savings accounts, transactions deposit accounts, negotiable orders of withdrawal (NOW) accounts and, non-interest bearing demand accounts and individual retirement accounts. Northfield Bank offers insurance products through NSB Insurance Agency, Inc. Northfield Bank owns 100% of NSB Services Corp.

About Beneficial Bancorp

Beneficial Mutual Bancorp, Inc. is a savings and loan holding company. The Company’s business activities are the ownership of Beneficial Bank (the Bank). The Bank has also operated under the name Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank. The Bank is a Pennsylvania chartered savings bank. It attracts deposits from the general public and uses those funds to originate a variety of loans, including commercial real estate loans, consumer loans, home equity loans, one- to four-family real estate loans, commercial business loans and construction loans. It offers insurance brokerage and investment advisory services through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Beneficial Insurance Services, LLC and Beneficial Advisors, LLC, respectively. It also maintains an investment portfolio. As of December 31, 2012, it operated 36 full-service banking offices in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Bucks Counties, Pennsylvania and 26 full-service banking offices in Burlington and Camden Counties, New Jersey.

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