Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) (OTCMKTS:CZBS) and Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Risk & Volatility

Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) has a beta of 0.19, suggesting that its stock price is 81% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Northern Trust has a beta of 1.13, suggesting that its stock price is 13% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) and Northern Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) 0 0 0 0 N/A
Northern Trust 3 6 6 0 2.20

Northern Trust has a consensus target price of $106.23, suggesting a potential upside of 16.54%. Given Northern Trust’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Northern Trust is more favorable than Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA).

Insider and Institutional Ownership

78.8% of Northern Trust shares are held by institutional investors. 10.2% of Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Northern Trust 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.

Profitability

This table compares Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) and Northern Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) N/A N/A N/A
Northern Trust 22.44% 16.03% 1.18%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) and Northern Trust’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Northern Trust $6.66 billion 2.98 $1.56 billion $6.73 13.54

Northern Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA).

Dividends

Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) pays an annual dividend of $0.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Northern Trust pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Northern Trust pays out 35.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Northern Trust has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Northern Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Northern Trust beats Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Citizens Bancshares Co. (GA) Company Profile

Citizens Bancshares Corporation operates as the holding company for Citizens Trust Bank that provides various commercial banking services to individual and corporate customers. The company offers checking and savings accounts; and demand and money market deposits. It also provides personal loans, including auto loans, personal line of credit, secured line of credit, and home equity lines; residential mortgage loans; commercial loans, such as lines of credit, vehicle/equipment loans, commercial mortgages, and refinance services; and financial and agricultural loans, installment loans, commercial real estate loans, single-family residential loans, and construction and development loans, as well as residential and commercial bank owned assets. In addition, the company offers investment accounts, such as sweep, commercial money market, and individual retirement accounts; certificates of deposit; and certificate of deposit account registry services. Further, it provides term life, whole life, finance expense, and disability insurance; merchant services comprising point of sale terminal, credit card and debit card processing, electronic benefits transfer, gift card, and Internet shopping cart services; cash management services; and credit cards. Additionally, the company offers mobile banking, online banking/bill pay, and check recorder services. It operates seven full-service branches in metropolitan Atlanta; one full-service branch in Columbus, Georgia; one full-service branch in Birmingham, Alabama; and one full-service branch in Eutaw, Alabama. The company was founded in 1921 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Northern Trust Company Profile

Northern Trust Corporation, a financial holding company, provides wealth management, asset servicing, asset management, and banking solutions for corporations, institutions, families, and individuals worldwide. It operates in two segments, Corporate & Institutional Services (C&IS) and Wealth Management. The C&IS segment offers asset servicing and related services, including custody, fund administration, investment operations outsourcing, investment management, investment risk and analytical services, employee benefit services, securities lending, foreign exchange, treasury management, brokerage services, transition management services, banking, and cash management services. This segment serves corporate and public retirement funds, foundations, endowments, fund managers, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, and other institutional investors. The Wealth Management segment offers trust, investment management, custody, and philanthropic; financial consulting; guardianship and estate administration; family business consulting; family financial education; brokerage services; and private and business banking services. This segment serves high-net-worth individuals and families, business owners, executives, professionals, retirees, and established privately-held businesses. The company also provides asset management services, such as active and passive equity; active and passive fixed income; cash management; alternative asset classes comprising private equity and hedge funds of funds; and multi-manager advisory services and products through separately managed accounts, bank common and collective funds, registered investment companies, exchange traded funds, non-U.S. collective investment funds, and unregistered private investment funds. In addition, it offers overlay and other risk management services. The company was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

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