Select Bancorp (NASDAQ: ABCB) and Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, earnings and valuation.

Risk and Volatility

Select Bancorp has a beta of 0.18, meaning that its share price is 82% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ameris Bancorp has a beta of 1.05, meaning that its share price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Ameris Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Select Bancorp does not pay a dividend. Ameris Bancorp pays out 16.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Select Bancorp and Ameris Bancorp’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Select Bancorp $42.69 million 4.22 $3.18 million N/A N/A
Ameris Bancorp $398.80 million 5.91 $73.54 million $2.48 20.00

Ameris Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than Select Bancorp.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Select Bancorp 8.96% 7.37% 0.85%
Ameris Bancorp 15.07% 10.84% 1.20%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Select Bancorp and Ameris Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Select Bancorp 0 0 0 0 N/A
Ameris Bancorp 0 3 2 0 2.40

Ameris Bancorp has a consensus price target of $58.20, suggesting a potential upside of 17.34%. Given Ameris Bancorp’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Ameris Bancorp is more favorable than Select Bancorp.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

24.9% of Select Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 72.3% of Ameris Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 14.0% of Select Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.1% of Ameris Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Ameris Bancorp beats Select Bancorp on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Select Bancorp Company Profile

Select Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Select Bank & Trust Company that provides banking services to individuals and small to medium-sized businesses. The company accepts deposit products, such as non-interest-bearing demand deposits, money market and NOW accounts, savings accounts, and time deposits. Its loan products include 1-to-4 family residential, commercial real estate, multi-family residential, construction, and commercial and industrial loans; loans to individuals; and home equity lines of credit and overdrafts. Select Bancorp, Inc. operates a network of branch offices in Dunn, Burlington, Charlotte, Clinton, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Greenville, Leland, Lillington, Lumberton, Morehead City, Raleigh, and Washington, North Carolina; and Rock Hill, Blacksburg, and Six Mile, South Carolina. The company was formerly known as New Century Bancorp, Inc. and changed its name to Select Bancorp, Inc. in July 2014. Select Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Dunn, North Carolina.

Ameris Bancorp Company Profile

Ameris Bancorp operates as the 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, Small Business Administration Division, and Premium Finance Division. It offers commercial and retail checking accounts, regular interest-bearing savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, and certificates of deposit. 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 97 domestic banking offices and 13 loan production offices. Ameris Bancorp was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia.

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