Contrasting Banc of California (BANC) and CoBiz Financial (COBZ)

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Banc of California (NASDAQ: COBZ) and CoBiz Financial (NASDAQ:COBZ) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, profitability, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Banc of California and CoBiz Financial, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Banc of California 1 3 2 0 2.17
CoBiz Financial 0 5 0 0 2.00

Banc of California presently has a consensus price target of $21.40, indicating a potential upside of 7.00%. CoBiz Financial has a consensus price target of $20.25, indicating a potential downside of 10.67%. Given Banc of California’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Banc of California is more favorable than CoBiz Financial.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

81.8% of CoBiz Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. 18.1% of Banc of California shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 9.5% of CoBiz Financial shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Banc of California and CoBiz Financial’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Banc of California $501.02 million 2.02 $57.70 million $0.82 24.39
CoBiz Financial $177.19 million 5.42 $32.91 million $0.95 23.86

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

Profitability

This table compares Banc of California and CoBiz Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Banc of California 11.74% 8.25% 0.59%
CoBiz Financial 21.05% 13.80% 1.21%

Dividends

Banc of California pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. CoBiz Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Banc of California pays out 63.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. CoBiz Financial pays out 42.1% 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. CoBiz Financial has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Volatility & Risk

Banc of California has a beta of 0.83, indicating that its stock price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, CoBiz Financial has a beta of 1.05, indicating that its stock price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

CoBiz Financial beats Banc of California on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Banc of California Company Profile

Banc of California, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Banc of California, National Association that provides banking products and services in the United States. The company's deposits consist of checking, savings, money market, retirement, and interest and non-interest bearing demand accounts, as well as certificates of deposit; and commercial and consumer loan products include commercial and industrial loans, commercial real estate loans, multi-family loans, small business administration (SBA) guaranteed business loans, construction and renovation loans, single family residential mortgage loans, warehouse loans, asset-insurance-or security backed loans, home equity lines of credit, consumer and business lines of credit, home equity loans, and other consumer loans. It also invests in SBA loan pool securities, mortgage-backed securities, corporate bonds, and collateralized loan obligations. In addition, the company offers automated bill payment, cash and treasury management, foreign exchange, interest rate swaps, card payment services, remote and mobile deposit capture, ACH origination, wire transfer, direct deposit services, and safe deposit boxes, as well as Internet banking services. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 34 branches in San Diego, Orange, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles counties in California. The company was formerly known as First PacTrust Bancorp, Inc. and changed its name to Banc of California, Inc. in July 2013. Banc of California, Inc. was founded in 1941 and is headquartered in Santa Ana, California.

CoBiz Financial Company Profile

CoBiz Financial Inc., a diversified financial services company, provides various financial products and services in the United States. It operates through Commercial Banking and Fee-Based Lines segments. The Commercial Banking segment offers commercial, real estate, and private banking services, as well as treasury management, interest-rate hedging, and depository products. The Fee-Based Lines segment provides investment advisory and insurance brokerage services; investment management advisory services to individuals, families, and businesses; and property and casualty, and employee benefit group insurance broker agency services to small- to mid-sized employers, commercial enterprises, and individual lines to their owners. CoBiz Financial Inc. operates 11 locations, including 7 in the Denver metropolitan area, as well as one each in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Vail located in Colorado under the Colorado Business Bank name; and 4 locations serving the Phoenix metropolitan area and the surrounding area of Maricopa County in Arizona under the Arizona Business Bank name. The company was formerly known as CoBiz Inc. and changed its name to CoBiz Financial Inc. in May 2007. CoBiz Financial Inc., was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

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