Atlantic Coast Financial (NASDAQ:ACFC) and Malvern Bancorp (NASDAQ:MLVF) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and dividends.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

60.8% of Atlantic Coast Financial shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.3% of Malvern Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 10.9% of Atlantic Coast Financial shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.7% of Malvern Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Atlantic Coast Financial and Malvern Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Atlantic Coast Financial 0 1 0 0 2.00
Malvern Bancorp 0 1 1 0 2.50

Atlantic Coast Financial currently has a consensus target price of $8.50, indicating a potential downside of 21.95%. Malvern Bancorp has a consensus target price of $23.50, indicating a potential upside of 18.51%. Given Malvern Bancorp’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Malvern Bancorp is more favorable than Atlantic Coast Financial.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Atlantic Coast Financial and Malvern Bancorp’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Atlantic Coast Financial $41.36 million 4.09 $3.16 million $0.34 32.03
Malvern Bancorp $36.12 million 4.27 $5.81 million N/A N/A

Malvern Bancorp has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Atlantic Coast Financial.

Risk & Volatility

Atlantic Coast Financial has a beta of 0.49, meaning that its stock price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Malvern Bancorp has a beta of -0.16, meaning that its stock price is 116% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Atlantic Coast Financial and Malvern Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Atlantic Coast Financial 7.51% 5.91% 0.57%
Malvern Bancorp 15.63% 7.56% 0.75%

Summary

Malvern Bancorp beats Atlantic Coast Financial on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Atlantic Coast Financial Company Profile

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation operates as the holding company for Atlantic Coast Bank that provides various banking services to individual and business customers primarily in Northeast Florida, Central Florida, and Southeast Georgia. It accepts various deposit products, including noninterest-bearing and interest-bearing demand, savings, money market demand, time deposit, and checking accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. The company also offers one-to four-family residential first and second mortgage, home-equity, commercial real estate, commercial and residential construction, multi-family real estate, commercial business, and automobile and other consumer loans. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 10 full-service branch offices and 4 lending offices. The company was founded in 1939 and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

Malvern Bancorp Company Profile

Malvern Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Malvern Federal Savings Bank that provides various banking products and services to consumer and business customers in Pennsylvania. The company offers checking accounts, retirement accounts, money market accounts, time and savings accounts, interest and non-interest bearing accounts, NOW accounts, and CDARS/ICS reciprocal deposits; and debit and credit card, wire transfer, automated teller, Internet banking, ACH origination, safe deposit box, telephone banking, and mobile banking services. It also provides residential mortgage loans, such as one class and one-to four-family first lien residential mortgage loans; residential and commercial construction loans, and land loans; commercial loans, including commercial real estate loans, multi-family real estate loans, industrial loans, and commercial business loans; and consumer loans, such as home equity lines of credit, second mortgage loans, and unsecured consumer lines of credit. In addition, the company offers liquidity management, investment, custody, wealth planning, trust and fiduciary, insurance, and 401k services to high net worth individuals and families. Further, it provides remote deposit capture banking for business customers; and mobile remote deposit capture banking for retail and business customers. As of September 30, 2017, the company owns and maintains its headquarters and six full-service financial centers; leases financial centers in Glen Mills and Villanova, Pennsylvania; a private banking office in Morristown, New Jersey; and leases representative offices in Montchanin, Delaware, and Palm Beach, Florida. Malvern Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 1887 and is headquartered in Paoli, Pennsylvania.

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