Financial Contrast: Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) versus Capital City Bank Group (NASDAQ:CCBG)

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

Dividends

Ameris Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Capital City Bank Group pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Ameris Bancorp pays out 15.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Capital City Bank Group pays out 30.6% 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. Ameris Bancorp has increased its dividend for 1 consecutive years and Capital City Bank Group has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Capital City Bank Group is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

83.1% of Ameris Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 40.2% of Capital City Bank Group shares are held by institutional investors. 5.4% of Ameris Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 21.0% of Capital City Bank Group shares are held 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 Ameris Bancorp and Capital City Bank Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ameris Bancorp 12.69% 8.86% 1.17%
Capital City Bank Group 16.59% 9.29% 0.97%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Ameris Bancorp and Capital City Bank Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ameris Bancorp 0 0 5 1 3.17
Capital City Bank Group 0 1 0 0 2.00

Ameris Bancorp presently has a consensus target price of $32.33, suggesting a potential upside of 24.45%. Capital City Bank Group has a consensus target price of $22.50, suggesting a potential upside of 7.14%. Given Ameris Bancorp’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Ameris Bancorp is more favorable than Capital City Bank Group.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Ameris Bancorp and Capital City Bank Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ameris Bancorp $834.51 million 2.16 $161.44 million $3.80 6.84
Capital City Bank Group $165.89 million 2.12 $30.81 million $1.83 11.48

Ameris Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than Capital City Bank Group. Ameris Bancorp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Capital City Bank Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Ameris Bancorp has a beta of 1.53, suggesting that its stock price is 53% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Capital City Bank Group has a beta of 0.9, suggesting that its stock price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Ameris Bancorp beats Capital City Bank Group on 13 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ameris Bancorp Company Profile

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.

Capital City Bank Group Company Profile

Capital City Bank Group, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Capital City Bank that provides a range of banking and banking-related services to individual and corporate clients in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. It offers financing for commercial business properties, equipment, inventories, and accounts receivable, as well as commercial leasing and letters of credit; treasury management services; and merchant credit card transaction processing services. The company also provides commercial and residential real estate lending products, as well as fixed-rate and adjustable rate residential mortgage loans; retail credit products, such as personal loans, automobile loans, boat/RV loans, home equity loans, and credit card programs; and institutional banking services, including customized checking and savings accounts, cash management systems, tax-exempt loans, lines of credit, and term loans to meet the needs of state and local governments, public schools and colleges, charities, membership, and not-for-profit associations. Its consumer banking services include checking accounts, savings programs, automated teller machines, debit/credit cards, night deposit services, safe deposit facilities, online banking, and mobile banking. In addition, the company provides asset management for individuals through agency, personal trust, IRA, and personal investment management accounts; and offers access to retail securities products, including the U.S. Government bonds, tax-free municipal bonds, stocks, mutual funds, unit investment trusts, annuities, life insurance, and long-term health care. As of February 28, 2018, it had 59 banking offices. Capital City Bank Group, Inc. was founded in 1895 and is headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida.

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