The First Bancshares (NASDAQ: FBMS) and TrustCo Bank Corp NY (NASDAQ:TRST) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares The First Bancshares and TrustCo Bank Corp NY’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
The First Bancshares 14.14% 9.32% 0.91%
TrustCo Bank Corp NY 25.16% 10.51% 0.95%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares The First Bancshares and TrustCo Bank Corp NY’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
The First Bancshares $62.19 million 4.65 $10.52 million $1.15 27.48
TrustCo Bank Corp NY $165.49 million 5.37 $46.13 million $0.48 19.27

TrustCo Bank Corp NY has higher revenue and earnings than The First Bancshares. TrustCo Bank Corp NY is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than The First Bancshares, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

57.9% of The First Bancshares shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 57.7% of TrustCo Bank Corp NY shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.8% of The First Bancshares shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of TrustCo Bank Corp NY shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

The First Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.15 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. TrustCo Bank Corp NY pays an annual dividend of $0.26 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. The First Bancshares pays out 13.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. TrustCo Bank Corp NY pays out 54.2% 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for The First Bancshares and TrustCo Bank Corp NY, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
The First Bancshares 0 0 1 0 3.00
TrustCo Bank Corp NY 0 1 0 0 2.00

The First Bancshares currently has a consensus price target of $32.00, suggesting a potential upside of 1.27%. TrustCo Bank Corp NY has a consensus price target of $7.25, suggesting a potential downside of 21.62%. Given The First Bancshares’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe The First Bancshares is more favorable than TrustCo Bank Corp NY.

Volatility & Risk

The First Bancshares has a beta of -0.29, indicating that its share price is 129% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, TrustCo Bank Corp NY has a beta of 1.2, indicating that its share price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

TrustCo Bank Corp NY beats The First Bancshares on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About The First Bancshares

The First Bancshares, Inc. is a bank holding company for The First, A National Banking Association (the Bank). The Company and the Bank engage in a general commercial and retail banking business for small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns and individuals. The Bank provides a range of banking services in its primary market area of South Mississippi, South Alabama and Louisiana. The Bank offers a range of commercial and personal loans. Commercial loans include both secured and unsecured loans for working capital (including loans secured by inventory and accounts receivable), business expansion (including acquisition of real estate and improvements), and purchase of equipment and machinery. The Bank offers a range of deposit services, including noninterest-bearing accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts and time deposits.

About TrustCo Bank Corp NY

TrustCo Bank Corp NY is a savings and loan holding company. The Company’s principal subsidiary is Trustco Bank (the Bank). The Bank is a federal savings bank engaged in providing general banking services to individuals, partnerships and corporations. It operates through community banking segment. The Bank’s business consists of accepting deposits and making loans and investments. The Bank provides both personal and business banking services. The Bank’s subsidiary, Trustco Realty Corp., is a real estate investment trust (REIT) formed to acquire, hold and manage real estate mortgage assets, including residential mortgage loans and mortgage backed securities. The Bank’s trust department operates under the name, Trustco Financial Services, and serves as executor of estates and trustee of personal trusts, provides asset and wealth management services, and provides estate planning and related advice, provides custodial services.

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