Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ: SFNC) and Comerica (NYSE:CMA) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends and valuation.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Simmons First National Corporation and Comerica’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Simmons First National Corporation $406.42 million 4.11 $97.61 million $3.03 17.13
Comerica $2.88 billion 4.19 $703.64 million $4.00 17.16

Comerica has higher revenue and earnings than Simmons First National Corporation. Simmons First National Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Comerica, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Simmons First National Corporation and Comerica’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Simmons First National Corporation 21.03% 8.71% 1.19%
Comerica 23.22% 9.60% 1.00%

Dividends

Simmons First National Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Comerica pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Simmons First National Corporation pays out 33.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Comerica pays out 26.0% 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. Simmons First National Corporation has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Simmons First National Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

26.0% of Simmons First National Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 82.5% of Comerica shares are held by institutional investors. 4.6% of Simmons First National Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Comerica shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Simmons First National Corporation has a beta of 1.12, indicating that its share price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Comerica has a beta of 1.47, indicating that its share price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Simmons First National Corporation and Comerica, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Simmons First National Corporation 0 2 2 0 2.50
Comerica 2 11 7 0 2.25

Simmons First National Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $62.33, suggesting a potential upside of 20.10%. Comerica has a consensus price target of $73.53, suggesting a potential upside of 7.11%. Given Simmons First National Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Simmons First National Corporation is more favorable than Comerica.

Summary

Comerica beats Simmons First National Corporation on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Simmons First National Corporation

Simmons First National Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company, through its subsidiary bank, Simmons Bank, provides financial services to individuals and businesses throughout the market areas they serve. As of December 31, 2016, Simmons Bank conducted banking operations through 150 financial centers located in communities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Simmons Bank offers consumer, real estate and commercial loans, checking and savings deposits. Simmons Bank and its subsidiaries have also developed products and services, which include credit cards, trust and fiduciary services, investments, agricultural finance lending, equipment lending, insurance and small business administration lending. The securities within the portfolio are classified as either held-to-maturity, available-for-sale or trading. The Company offers deposits, including non-interest bearing transaction accounts; interest bearing transaction accounts, and time deposits.

About Comerica

Comerica Incorporated is a financial services company. The Company’s principal activity is lending to and accepting deposits from businesses and individuals. The Company’s segments include the Business Bank, the Retail Bank, Wealth Management, Finance and Other. The Business Bank serves middle market businesses, multinational corporations and governmental entities by offering various products and services, including commercial loans and lines of credit, deposits, cash management, capital market products, international trade finance, letters of credit, foreign exchange management services and loan syndication services. The Retail Bank includes small business banking and personal financial services, consisting of consumer lending, consumer deposit gathering and mortgage loan origination. The Wealth Management segment offers products and services consisting of fiduciary services, private banking, retirement services, investment advisory services, investment banking and brokerage services.

Receive News & Ratings for Simmons First National Corporation Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Simmons First National Corporation and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.