Stock Yards Bancorp (NASDAQ: SYBT) and Great Southern Bancorp (NASDAQ:GSBC) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and profitability.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Stock Yards Bancorp and Great Southern Bancorp’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Stock Yards Bancorp $138.14 million 5.68 $41.92 million $1.85 18.73
Great Southern Bancorp $180.42 million 3.95 $50.25 million $3.58 14.20

Great Southern Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than Stock Yards Bancorp. Great Southern Bancorp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Stock Yards Bancorp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Stock Yards Bancorp has a beta of 0.68, suggesting that its stock price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Great Southern Bancorp has a beta of 1.11, suggesting that its stock price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

48.1% of Stock Yards Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 40.2% of Great Southern Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 6.2% of Stock Yards Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 23.8% of Great Southern Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Stock Yards Bancorp and Great Southern Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Stock Yards Bancorp 28.11% 13.36% 1.40%
Great Southern Bancorp 22.84% 11.62% 1.13%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Stock Yards Bancorp and Great Southern Bancorp, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Stock Yards Bancorp 0 1 0 0 2.00
Great Southern Bancorp 0 1 0 0 2.00

Stock Yards Bancorp currently has a consensus target price of $38.00, suggesting a potential upside of 9.67%. Great Southern Bancorp has a consensus target price of $53.00, suggesting a potential upside of 4.29%. Given Stock Yards Bancorp’s higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Stock Yards Bancorp is more favorable than Great Southern Bancorp.

Dividends

Stock Yards Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Great Southern Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Stock Yards Bancorp pays out 43.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Great Southern Bancorp pays out 26.8% 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.

Summary

Stock Yards Bancorp beats Great Southern Bancorp on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Stock Yards Bancorp

Stock Yards Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company (the Bank). The Bank is a state chartered bank. The Company operates through two segments: commercial banking, and wealth management and trust. The commercial banking segment provides a full range of loan and deposit products to individual consumers and businesses, plus origination of consumer mortgages and securities brokerage activity. The wealth management and trust segment provides investment management, trust and estate administration, and retirement plan services. The Bank provides commercial and personal banking services in the Louisville, Kentucky, Indianapolis, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio metropolitan markets through 37 full service banking offices, as of December 31, 2016. The Bank also originates and sells single-family residential mortgages. Additionally, the Bank offers securities brokerage services via its branch network through an arrangement with a third party broker-dealer.

About Great Southern Bancorp

Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, a financial holding company and the parent of Great Southern Bank (the Bank). Through the Bank and subsidiaries of the Bank, the Company offers insurance, travel, investment and related services. The Bank makes long-term, fixed-rate residential real estate loans. It also originates commercial real estate and other residential loans, primarily with adjustable rates or shorter-term fixed rates, and commercial business and consumer loans, primarily in indirect automobile lending. The Company’s investment portfolio consists of mortgage-backed securities, and states and political subdivisions. As of December 31, 2016, the Bank offered a range of banking services through its 104 banking centers located in southern and central Missouri; the Kansas City, Missouri area; the St. Louis, Missouri area; eastern Kansas; northwestern Arkansas; eastern Nebraska, the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, and eastern, western and central Iowa.

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