Analyzing First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas (BSF) and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina (PEBK)

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas (NASDAQ:BSF) and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina (NASDAQ:PEBK) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, earnings, dividends and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas N/A N/A N/A
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina 20.27% 10.67% 1.14%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina $54.79 million 2.96 $10.26 million N/A N/A

Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina has higher revenue and earnings than First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas 0 0 0 0 N/A
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina 0 0 0 0 N/A

Insider and Institutional Ownership

13.2% of First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 32.4% of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina shares are held by institutional investors. 45.7% of First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 11.2% of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas pays an annual dividend of $0.12 per share. Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years and Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina beats First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas on 7 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas Company Profile

Bear State Financial, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Bear State Bank, N.A that provides various financial products to individuals and business customers. The company offers a range of retail and business deposit accounts, including noninterest and interest bearing checking, savings and money market, and individual retirement accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. It also provides loans comprising one-to four-family residential real estate, multifamily residential real estate, nonfarm nonresidential, farmland, construction and land development, and secured and unsecured commercial loans; and consumer loans, such as automobile, deposit account secured, and unsecured loans, as well as lines of credit. In addition, the company offers other financial services, such as automated teller machine services; telephone banking services; online banking services, including account access, bill payment, and e-statement services; mobile banking comprising remote deposit capture and funds transfer services; overdraft services; debit cards; and safe deposit boxes. As of January 18, 2018, it operated 42 branches, 3 personalized technology centers equipped with interactive teller machines, and 3 loan production offices in Arkansas, Missouri, and Southeast Oklahoma. The company was formerly known as First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, Inc. and changed its name to Bear State Financial, Inc. in June 2014. Bear State Financial, Inc. incorporated in 1996 and is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina Company Profile

Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc. operates as the holding company for Peoples Bank that provides various banking products and services to individuals and small to medium-sized businesses. It offers various deposit products. The company's loan products comprise commercial real estate, commercial, construction and land development, single-family residential, residential mortgage, individual taxpayer identification number mortgage loans, and consumer loans, as well as agricultural loans. It also provides investment counseling and non-deposit investment products, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, tax deferred annuities, and related brokerage services; and real estate appraisal and brokerage services. In addition, the company operates as a clearing-house for the provision of appraisal services for community banks; and acquires, manages, and disposes real property, other collateral, and other assets obtained in the ordinary course of collecting debts. As of January 22, 2018, it operated approximately 19 banking offices located in Catawba, Alexander, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Iredell, and Wake counties in North Carolina, as well as loan production offices in Lincoln and Durham counties in North Carolina. Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc. was founded in 1912 and is headquartered in Newton, North Carolina.

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