Fulton Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: FULT) and Civista Bancshares (NASDAQ:CIVB) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends and risk.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Fulton Financial Corporation and Civista Bancshares’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Fulton Financial Corporation $793.28 million 3.93 $161.62 million $1.03 17.28
Civista Bancshares $69.70 million 3.06 $17.21 million $1.31 16.02

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

62.6% of Fulton Financial Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 42.7% of Civista Bancshares shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Fulton Financial Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.8% of Civista Bancshares shares are owned 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 and Volatility

Fulton Financial Corporation has a beta of 1.16, indicating that its share price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Civista Bancshares has a beta of 0.59, indicating that its share price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Fulton Financial Corporation and Civista Bancshares’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Fulton Financial Corporation 21.15% 8.28% 0.92%
Civista Bancshares 21.56% 10.32% 1.05%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Fulton Financial Corporation and Civista Bancshares, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Fulton Financial Corporation 1 6 0 0 1.86
Civista Bancshares 0 1 3 0 2.75

Fulton Financial Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $18.40, suggesting a potential upside of 3.37%. Civista Bancshares has a consensus target price of $24.38, suggesting a potential upside of 16.18%. Given Civista Bancshares’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Civista Bancshares is more favorable than Fulton Financial Corporation.

Dividends

Fulton Financial Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Civista Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Fulton Financial Corporation pays out 42.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Civista Bancshares pays out 21.4% 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.

Summary

Civista Bancshares beats Fulton Financial Corporation on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Fulton Financial Corporation

Fulton Financial Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company is the bank holding company of Fulton Bank N.A. (the Bank). As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s six subsidiary banks were located primarily in suburban or semi-rural geographic markets throughout a five-state region (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia). Each of the Company’s subsidiary banks offers a range of consumer and commercial banking products and services in its local market area. Personal banking services include various checking account and savings deposit products, certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts. The subsidiary banks offer a range of consumer lending products to creditworthy customers in their market areas. Commercial banking services are provided to small and medium sized businesses. It also offers investment management, trust, brokerage, insurance and investment advisory services to consumer and commercial banking customers in its market areas.

About Civista Bancshares

Civista Bancshares, Inc. is a financial holding company. The Company, through the subsidiary bank, Civista Bank, is primarily engaged in the business of community banking. Civista Bank, located in Erie, Crawford, Champaign, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Logan, Madison, Montgomery, Summit, Huron, Ottawa and Richland Counties, Ohio, conducts a general banking business that involves collecting customer deposits, making loans, purchasing securities, and offering Trust services. The Company’s loan portfolio consists of commercial and agriculture, commercial real estate-owner occupied, commercial real estate non-owner occupied, residential real estate, real estate construction, consumer and other. Its securities are classified as available-for-sale (AFS) securities. Its deposits include non-interest-bearing demand deposits; interest-bearing demand deposits; savings account, including money market deposit accounts, and certificates of deposit, including individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

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