United Bankshares (NASDAQ: UBSI) and BBVA Banco Frances (NYSE:BFR) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitability, dividends, risk and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares United Bankshares and BBVA Banco Frances’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United Bankshares 24.94% 6.25% 1.02%
BBVA Banco Frances N/A 16.92% 1.76%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

62.5% of United Bankshares shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 5.9% of BBVA Banco Frances shares are held by institutional investors. 6.2% of United Bankshares shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

United Bankshares pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. BBVA Banco Frances pays an annual dividend of $0.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. United Bankshares pays out 69.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares United Bankshares and BBVA Banco Frances’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
United Bankshares $540.37 million 6.97 $147.08 million $1.90 18.89
BBVA Banco Frances $1.83 billion 2.05 $246.67 million N/A N/A

BBVA Banco Frances has higher revenue and earnings than United Bankshares.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for United Bankshares and BBVA Banco Frances, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United Bankshares 0 4 0 0 2.00
BBVA Banco Frances 0 0 2 0 3.00

United Bankshares presently has a consensus price target of $42.50, indicating a potential upside of 18.38%. BBVA Banco Frances has a consensus price target of $23.00, indicating a potential upside of 10.00%. Given United Bankshares’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe United Bankshares is more favorable than BBVA Banco Frances.

Volatility & Risk

United Bankshares has a beta of 1.03, suggesting that its share price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BBVA Banco Frances has a beta of 0.57, suggesting that its share price is 43% less volatile than the S&P 500.

About United Bankshares

United Bankshares, Inc. (United) is a bank holding company. The Company operates through community banking segment. United’s Banking Subsidiaries offer a range of commercial and retail banking services and products. United, through its subsidiaries, engages in community banking and offers banking products and services permitted by law and regulation. Included among the banking services offered are the acceptance of deposits in checking, savings, time and money market accounts; the making and servicing of personal, commercial, floor plan and student loans, and the making of construction and real estate loans. Also offered are individual retirement accounts, safe deposit boxes, wire transfers and other standard banking products and services. As part of its lending function, the Banking Subsidiaries offer credit card services. The Company’s loan portfolio consists of commercial, real estate and consumer loans, including credit card and home equity loans.

About BBVA Banco Frances

BBVA Banco Frances S.A. (the Bank) is a provider of financial services to large corporations, small and medium-size companies (SMEs), as well as individual customers. The Bank is focused on the financial sector, through its activities related to banking/financial, pension fund manager and insurance. The Bank has all its operations, property and customers located in Argentina. As part of its business, the Bank conducts capital markets and securities operations directly in the over-the-counter market and indirectly in Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires (BCBA). Its corporate banking is divided by industry, such as consumer, heavy industries and energy. The Bank’s business lines include Retail Banking, Enterprise Banking, and Corporate and Investment Banking. Enterprise Banking offers both short- and long-term financing. The Corporate and Investment Banking business line is concerned with foreign trade transactions, and advice in mergers and acquisitions and in capital market transactions.

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