Critical Review: County Bancorp (ICBK) and Southern National Banc. of Virginia (SONA)

County Bancorp (NASDAQ: ICBK) and Southern National Banc. of Virginia (NASDAQ:SONA) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings and valuation.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares County Bancorp and Southern National Banc. of Virginia’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
County Bancorp $60.70 million 2.82 $10.42 million $1.49 17.19
Southern National Banc. of Virginia $89.00 million 4.65 $2.42 million $0.88 19.67

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

Risk & Volatility

County Bancorp has a beta of 0.29, indicating that its stock price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Southern National Banc. of Virginia has a beta of 0.26, indicating that its stock price is 74% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

25.2% of County Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.4% of Southern National Banc. of Virginia shares are held by institutional investors. 25.6% of County Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 6.0% of Southern National Banc. of Virginia shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares County Bancorp and Southern National Banc. of Virginia’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
County Bancorp 20.40% 10.24% 0.97%
Southern National Banc. of Virginia 16.31% 8.58% 1.07%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for County Bancorp and Southern National Banc. of Virginia, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
County Bancorp 0 3 1 0 2.25
Southern National Banc. of Virginia 0 0 0 0 N/A

County Bancorp presently has a consensus price target of $31.00, indicating a potential upside of 21.05%. Given County Bancorp’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe County Bancorp is more favorable than Southern National Banc. of Virginia.

Dividends

County Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Southern National Banc. of Virginia pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. County Bancorp pays out 18.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Southern National Banc. of Virginia pays out 36.4% 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. County Bancorp has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Summary

County Bancorp beats Southern National Banc. of Virginia on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

County Bancorp Company Profile

County Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Investors Community Bank that provides a range of banking and related financial services to individuals, businesses, and industries in northeastern and central Wisconsin. The company accepts demand interest bearing and noninterest bearing, money market deposit, NOW, checking, and savings accounts, as well as time deposits. It also offers agricultural loans; commercial and industrial loans, such as conventional term loans, and lines of credit and government guaranteed loans; commercial real estate mortgage loans, including multi-family investment properties and investment retail, office, mini-storage, and warehouse loans; and consumer, personal, and residential real estate loans on a collateralized and non-collateralized basis. In addition, the company provides mobile and Internet banking, remote merchant deposit capture, cash management, safe deposit, direct deposit, notary, night depository, cashier's check, and drive-in teller services, as well as credit, debit, and ATM cards; and crop insurance and milk margin products. It operates full-service branches in Manitowoc, Appleton, Green Bay, and Stevens Point; and loan production offices in Darlington, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan. County Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Southern National Banc. of Virginia Company Profile

Southern National Bancorp of Virginia, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Sonabank that provides commercial banking services to middle market corporate clients and retail clients in the United States. Its deposit products include noninterest-bearing and interest-bearing checking, commercial checking, money market, and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. The company's loan portfolio comprises commercial mortgage and non-mortgage loans, including commercial real estate loans, construction to permanent loans, development and builder loans, accounts receivable financing, lines of credit, equipment and vehicle loans, leasing, and commercial overdraft protection; construction loans for commercial, multifamily, and other non-residential properties; commercial business loans, such as lines of credit, revolving credit facilities, demand loans, term loans, equipment loans, small business administration loans, stand-by letters of credit, and unsecured loans; residential mortgage lending; and secured and unsecured consumer loans. It also offers cash management services comprising investment/sweep, zero balance, and controlled disbursement accounts; and wire transfer, employer/payroll processing, night depository, lockbox, depository transfer, merchant, ACH origination, check 21 processing, asset based lending, and mobile banking application services. In addition, the company provides other consumer/retail products and services that include debit and credit cards, ATM services, travelers' checks, notary services, and online banking services. At December 31, 2017, it had 38 full-service retail branches in Virginia; and 7 full-service retail branches in Maryland. The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia.

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