Reviewing United Community Financial (UCFC) & The First Bancshares (FBSI)

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United Community Financial (NASDAQ:UCFC) and The First Bancshares (OTCMKTS:FBSI) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares United Community Financial and The First Bancshares’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
United Community Financial $118.75 million 3.94 $21.78 million $0.57 16.44
The First Bancshares $10.90 million 1.93 -$560,000.00 N/A N/A

United Community Financial has higher revenue and earnings than The First Bancshares.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for United Community Financial and The First Bancshares, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United Community Financial 0 1 1 0 2.50
The First Bancshares 0 0 0 0 N/A

United Community Financial currently has a consensus price target of $12.00, indicating a potential upside of 28.07%. Given United Community Financial’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe United Community Financial is more favorable than The First Bancshares.

Volatility and Risk

United Community Financial has a beta of 0.44, meaning that its stock price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, The First Bancshares has a beta of 0.02, meaning that its stock price is 98% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

61.9% of United Community Financial shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 9.0% of The First Bancshares shares are held by institutional investors. 4.2% of United Community Financial shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.5% of The First Bancshares shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

United Community Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. The First Bancshares does not pay a dividend. United Community Financial pays out 49.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. United Community Financial has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares United Community Financial and The First Bancshares’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United Community Financial 24.80% 11.96% 1.31%
The First Bancshares 9.04% N/A N/A

Summary

United Community Financial beats The First Bancshares on 13 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About United Community Financial

United Community Financial Corp. operates as the holding company for Home Savings Bank that provides consumer and business banking services. The company offers various deposit instruments, including checking accounts, regular savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, and certificates of deposit. It provides commercial loans, such as multifamily loans; nonresidential real estate loans comprising retail centers, office buildings, and industrial buildings; land loans; loans for the construction of multifamily properties, nonresidential real estate projects, and to builders; and secured and unsecured loans, including traditional lines of credit, revolving lines of credit, and term loans. The company also offers residential mortgage loans consisting of one-to four-family loans; loans for the construction of one-to four-family residences; and consumer loans, such as home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, recreational vehicle loans, unsecured loans, and cash-secured loans. In addition, it provides insurance products for business and residential customers, including auto, homeowners, life-health, commercial, surety bonds, and aviation. The company offers services through its main office located in Youngstown, Ohio; and 35 retail banking offices, 3 wealth management offices, and 13 residential mortgage loan centers located in Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. United Community Financial Corp. was founded in 1889 and is based in Youngstown, Ohio.

About The First Bancshares

First Bancshares, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for the First Home Bank that provides various banking and mortgage services to individual and corporate customers in southern Missouri, the United States. The company's deposit products include checking, savings, money market, and individual retirement accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. It also provides consumer loans, including vehicle, personal, and certificate of deposit loans; real estate loans for purchasing a new home, home construction, refinancing existing home, adding to existing home, and buying undeveloped land; agriculture loans, such as livestock, line of credit, equipment, and agriculture real estate loans; and commercial loans comprising term, commercial line of credit, commercial real estate, and small business administration loans. In addition, the company offers direct deposit, telephone banking, safe deposit box, merchant, and cash management services, as well as debit cards. Further, it invests in mortgage-back securities, the United States Government and agency securities, and other assets. The company operates through a home office in Mountain Grove; and seven full service branch facilities in Marshfield, Ava, Kissee Mills, Gainesville, Sparta, Crane, and Springfield, Missouri. First Bancshares, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Mountain Grove, Missouri.

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