Head to Head Analysis: Select Bancorp (SLCT) vs. First Financial (THFF)

Select Bancorp (NASDAQ:SLCT) and First Financial (NASDAQ:THFF) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, earnings and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Select Bancorp and First Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Select Bancorp 12.66% 7.88% 1.00%
First Financial 23.65% 10.60% 1.49%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Select Bancorp and First Financial, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Select Bancorp 0 0 1 0 3.00
First Financial 0 1 0 0 2.00

First Financial has a consensus target price of $50.00, suggesting a potential upside of 12.66%. Given First Financial’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe First Financial is more favorable than Select Bancorp.

Dividends

First Financial pays an annual dividend of $1.02 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Select Bancorp does not pay a dividend. First Financial pays out 35.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. First Financial has increased its dividend for 31 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

44.5% of Select Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 55.6% of First Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. 14.0% of Select Bancorp shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.7% of First Financial shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Select Bancorp has a beta of 0.2, indicating that its share price is 80% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Financial has a beta of 0.92, indicating that its share price is 8% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Select Bancorp and First Financial’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Select Bancorp $42.69 million 5.43 $3.18 million $0.61 19.69
First Financial $150.13 million 3.62 $29.13 million $2.90 15.30

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

Summary

First Financial beats Select Bancorp on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Select Bancorp

Select Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Select Bank & Trust Company that provides banking services to individuals and small to medium-sized businesses. The company accepts deposit products, such as non-interest-bearing demand deposits, money market and NOW accounts, savings accounts, and time deposits. Its loan products include 1-to-4 family residential, commercial real estate, multi-family residential, construction, and commercial and industrial loans; loans to individuals; and home equity lines of credit and overdrafts. Select Bancorp, Inc. operates a network of branch offices in Dunn, Burlington, Charlotte, Clinton, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Greenville, Leland, Lillington, Lumberton, Morehead City, Raleigh, and Washington, North Carolina; and Rock Hill, Blacksburg, and Six Mile, South Carolina. The company was formerly known as New Century Bancorp, Inc. and changed its name to Select Bancorp, Inc. in July 2014. Select Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Dunn, North Carolina.

About First Financial

First Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various financial services. The company offers commercial, mortgage, and consumer lending; lease financing; trust account; depositor; and insurance services. Its deposit products include interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing demand deposits, savings deposits, time deposits, and other time deposits; and loan products comprise commercial real estate loans, commercial loans, consumer loans, and residential real estate and construction loans. The company operates 66 branches in West-Central Indiana and East-Central Illinois. It also rents an office building. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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