Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ACFC) and HomeTrust Bancshares (NASDAQ:HTBI) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, risk, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

49.5% of Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 59.8% of HomeTrust Bancshares shares are held by institutional investors. 10.9% of Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.4% of HomeTrust Bancshares shares are held by company 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation and HomeTrust Bancshares, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation 0 1 0 0 2.00
HomeTrust Bancshares 0 1 1 0 2.50

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $8.50, indicating a potential downside of 1.28%. HomeTrust Bancshares has a consensus price target of $28.00, indicating a potential upside of 6.26%. Given HomeTrust Bancshares’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe HomeTrust Bancshares is more favorable than Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation and HomeTrust Bancshares’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation $35.06 million 3.80 $6.35 million $0.41 21.00
HomeTrust Bancshares $106.25 million 4.66 $12.21 million $0.65 40.54

HomeTrust Bancshares has higher revenue and earnings than Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation. Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than HomeTrust Bancshares, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation and HomeTrust Bancshares’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation 14.79% 6.43% 0.62%
HomeTrust Bancshares 10.31% 4.50% 0.57%

Risk and Volatility

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation has a beta of 1.13, meaning that its stock price is 13% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, HomeTrust Bancshares has a beta of 0.33, meaning that its stock price is 67% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

HomeTrust Bancshares beats Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation Company Profile

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation is a thrift holding company. The Company, through its subsidiary, Atlantic Coast Bank (the Bank), a federally chartered and insured stock savings bank supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the OCC), serves the Northeast Florida, Central Florida and Southeast Georgia markets. The Bank focuses on attracting deposits and investing those funds primarily in loans, including commercial real estate loans, consumer loans, first mortgages on owner-occupied, one- to four-family residences and home equity loans. Additionally, the Bank invests funds in multi-family residential loans, commercial business loans, and commercial and residential construction loans. The Bank originates commercial real estate loans and commercial and industrial loans with small to mid-size businesses for the purposes of purchasing real estate and inventory, financing equipment, and providing working capital.

HomeTrust Bancshares Company Profile

HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc. is a bank holding company of HomeTrust Bank (the Bank). The Bank’s principal business consists of attracting deposits from the public and investing those funds, along with borrowed funds, in loans secured primarily by first and second mortgages on one- to four-family residences, including home equity loans, construction and land/lot loans, commercial real estate loans, construction and development loans, commercial and industrial loans, indirect automobile, and municipal leases. Municipal leases are secured primarily by a ground lease for a firehouse or an equipment lease for fire trucks and firefighting equipment to fire departments located throughout North and South Carolina. The Company purchases investment securities consisting primarily of securities issued by the United States Government agencies and government-sponsored enterprises, as well as certificates of deposit insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

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