Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) vs. Carter Bank and Trust (NASDAQ:CARE) Critical Contrast

Carter Bank and Trust (NASDAQ:CARE) and Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

33.9% of Carter Bank and Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.3% of Ameris Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of Ameris Bancorp shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Carter Bank and Trust and Ameris Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Carter Bank and Trust N/A N/A N/A
Ameris Bancorp 15.38% 9.91% 1.33%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Carter Bank and Trust and Ameris Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Carter Bank and Trust 0 1 2 0 2.67
Ameris Bancorp 0 0 5 0 3.00

Carter Bank and Trust currently has a consensus price target of $11.75, suggesting a potential upside of 45.60%. Ameris Bancorp has a consensus price target of $36.60, suggesting a potential upside of 55.15%. Given Ameris Bancorp’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Ameris Bancorp is more favorable than Carter Bank and Trust.

Risk and Volatility

Carter Bank and Trust has a beta of 1.37, indicating that its stock price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ameris Bancorp has a beta of 1.48, indicating that its stock price is 48% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Carter Bank and Trust and Ameris Bancorp’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Carter Bank and Trust $169.01 million 1.26 $11.90 million N/A N/A
Ameris Bancorp $834.51 million 1.96 $161.44 million $3.80 6.21

Ameris Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than Carter Bank and Trust.

Summary

Ameris Bancorp beats Carter Bank and Trust on 12 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Carter Bank and Trust

Carter Bank & Trust provides a range of retail and commercial banking products and services in Virginia and North Carolina. It accepts checking, savings, retirement, and money market accounts, as well as longer-term certificates of deposit. The company also offers loans, such as secured and unsecured commercial loans; secured and unsecured consumer loans for financing automobiles, home improvements, education, and personal investments; real estate construction and acquisition loans; and fixed and variable rate mortgage loans. In addition, it provides safe deposit boxes, direct deposit of payroll and social security checks, and automated drafts for various accounts. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated 105 branches. Carter Bank & Trust is headquartered in Martinsville, Virginia.

About Ameris Bancorp

Ameris Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for Ameris Bank that provides banking services to retail and commercial customers primarily in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina. The company operates through five segments: Banking Division, Retail Mortgage Division, Warehouse Lending Division, SBA Division, and Premium Finance Division. It offers commercial and retail checking, regular interest-bearing savings, money market, individual retirement, and certificates of deposit accounts. The company also provides commercial real estate, residential real estate mortgage, agricultural, and commercial and industrial loans; consumer loans, including motor vehicle, home improvement, and home equity loans, as well as loans secured by savings accounts and small unsecured personal credit lines; and municipal and commercial insurance premium finance loans. It operates 125 domestic banking offices and 16 loan production offices. Ameris Bancorp was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia.

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