County Bancorp (NASDAQ: ICBK) and PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership and earnings.

Dividends

County Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. PacWest Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.4%. County Bancorp pays out 14.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. PacWest Bancorp pays out 69.0% 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.

Profitability

This table compares County Bancorp and PacWest Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
County Bancorp 19.27% 9.04% 0.90%
PacWest Bancorp 30.61% 7.73% 1.60%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares County Bancorp and PacWest Bancorp’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
County Bancorp $42.41 million 4.69 $10.82 million $1.63 18.39
PacWest Bancorp $1.01 billion 5.44 $348.14 million $2.90 15.78

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

Volatility & Risk

County Bancorp has a beta of 0.47, meaning that its stock price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, PacWest Bancorp has a beta of 1.59, meaning that its stock price is 59% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for County Bancorp and PacWest Bancorp, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
County Bancorp 0 1 1 0 2.50
PacWest Bancorp 0 4 7 2 2.85

County Bancorp presently has a consensus price target of $32.00, indicating a potential upside of 6.74%. PacWest Bancorp has a consensus price target of $53.91, indicating a potential upside of 17.81%. Given PacWest Bancorp’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe PacWest Bancorp is more favorable than County Bancorp.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

27.1% of County Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.2% of PacWest Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. 26.3% of County Bancorp shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of PacWest Bancorp shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

PacWest Bancorp beats County Bancorp on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About County Bancorp

County Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company. The Company’s primary activities consist of holding the stock of its subsidiary bank, Investors Community Bank (the Bank), and providing banking and related business activities through the Bank and its other subsidiaries. It operates in the community banking segment. The Bank is an independent community bank offering financial services focusing on the needs of agricultural businesses, with a primary focus on dairy-related lending with lending relationships in over 60 Wisconsin counties. It also serves business and retail customers throughout Wisconsin, but is focused on northeastern and central Wisconsin. Its customers are served from its service branches in Manitowoc and Stevens Point, and its loan production offices located in Darlington, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan. Its subsidiaries include Investors Insurance Services, LLC, County Bancorp Statutory Trust II, County Bancorp Statutory Trust III and County Acquisition LLC.

About PacWest Bancorp

PacWest Bancorp is a bank holding company for Pacific Western Bank (the Bank). The Company is focused on relationship-based business banking to small, middle-market and venture-backed businesses. As of December 31, 2016, the Bank offered a range of loan and deposit products and services through 77 branches located throughout the state of California, one branch located in Durham, North Carolina, and several loan production offices located in cities across the country. The Company provides commercial banking services, and deposit and treasury management services to small and middle-market businesses. It offers products and services through its CapitalSource and Square 1 Bank divisions. In addition, the Company provides investment advisory and asset management services to select clients through Square 1 Asset Management, Inc., a subsidiary of the Bank.

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