Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: PGC) and Sterling Financial (NASDAQ:STSA) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, risk, institutional ownership, valuation and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation and Sterling Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation 19.54% 9.12% 0.77%
Sterling Financial N/A N/A N/A

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation and Sterling Financial, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation 0 1 2 0 2.67
Sterling Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A

Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $32.00, indicating a potential downside of 8.15%. Given Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation is more favorable than Sterling Financial.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

67.8% of Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 5.9% of Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation and Sterling Financial’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation $124.41 million 4.87 $30.80 million $1.77 19.68
Sterling Financial N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Sterling Financial.

Dividends

Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. Sterling Financial does not pay a dividend. Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation pays out 11.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation beats Sterling Financial on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation

Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company’s principal subsidiary is Peapack-Gladstone Bank (the Bank), which is a state chartered commercial bank. The Company operates through two segments: Banking and Private Wealth Management Division. The Banking segment includes commercial, commercial real estate, multifamily, residential and consumer lending activities; deposit generation; operation of automated teller machines (ATMs); telephone and Internet banking services; merchant credit card services, and customer support sales. The Private Wealth Management Division includes asset management services provided for individuals and institutions; personal trust services, including services as executor, trustee, administrator, custodian and guardian; corporate trust services, including services as trustee for pension and profit sharing plans, and other financial planning and advisory services.

About Sterling Financial

Sterling Financial Corporation (Sterling) is a bank holding company for Sterling Savings Bank. Sterling Savings Bank is a state-chartered commercial bank. Sterling Savings Bank offers retail and commercial banking products and services, mortgage lending and investment products to individuals, small businesses, commercial organizations and corporations. The Company operates in two segments: Community Banking and Home Loan Division. Its Community Banking segment provides traditional banking services through the retail banking, private banking and commercial banking groups, including the originating and servicing of commercial real estate, owner occupied CRE and C&I loans. The Company’s Home Loan Division originates and sells residential real estate loans through its mortgage banking operations, on both a servicing-retained and servicing-released basis. In Apil 2014, Umpqua Holdings Corp merged with Sterling Financial Corp.

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