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

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

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Southern National Banc. of Virginia and County Bancorp’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southern National Banc. of Virginia $89.00 million 4.82 $2.42 million $0.88 20.26
County Bancorp $60.70 million 2.77 $10.42 million $1.49 16.83

County Bancorp has lower revenue, but higher earnings 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.

Dividends

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southern National Banc. of Virginia 16.31% 8.58% 1.07%
County Bancorp 20.40% 10.15% 0.95%

Risk and Volatility

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Southern National Banc. of Virginia and County Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.

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

County Bancorp has a consensus target price of $31.00, suggesting a potential upside of 23.60%. Given County Bancorp’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe County Bancorp is more favorable than Southern National Banc. of Virginia.

Summary

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

About Southern National Banc. of Virginia

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.

About County Bancorp

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.

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