Comparing First National (NASDAQ:FXNC) and Southern States Bancshares (NASDAQ:SSBK)

First National (NASDAQ:FXNCGet Free Report) and Southern States Bancshares (NASDAQ:SSBKGet Free Report) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends and earnings.

Dividends

First National pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Southern States Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. First National pays out 39.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Southern States Bancshares pays out 10.1% 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. First National has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive years. First National is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Volatility & Risk

First National has a beta of 0.56, suggesting that its stock price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Southern States Bancshares has a beta of 0.16, suggesting that its stock price is 84% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares First National and Southern States Bancshares’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
First National $69.50 million 1.80 $9.62 million $1.53 13.09
Southern States Bancshares $141.13 million 1.70 $31.95 million $3.55 7.65

Southern States Bancshares has higher revenue and earnings than First National. Southern States Bancshares is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than First National, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares First National and Southern States Bancshares’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
First National 13.85% 8.58% 0.70%
Southern States Bancshares 22.64% 15.89% 1.39%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for First National and Southern States Bancshares, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
First National 0 1 0 0 2.00
Southern States Bancshares 0 1 0 0 2.00

First National presently has a consensus price target of $19.00, indicating a potential downside of 5.14%. Southern States Bancshares has a consensus price target of $32.00, indicating a potential upside of 17.86%. Given Southern States Bancshares’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Southern States Bancshares is more favorable than First National.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

42.5% of First National shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 50.7% of Southern States Bancshares shares are owned by institutional investors. 16.5% of First National shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 14.9% of Southern States Bancshares shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Southern States Bancshares beats First National on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About First National

(Get Free Report)

First National Corporation operates as the bank holding company for First Bank that provides various commercial banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, individuals, estates, local governmental entities, and non-profit organizations in Virginia. The company's deposit products include checking, savings, money market, and individual retirement accounts, as well as certificates of deposit and treasury management solutions. Its loan products comprise construction loans, including residential, land acquisition, and development loans; 1-4 family residential real estate loans; and commercial real estate loans that are secured by commercial real estate, including multi-family residential buildings, office and retail buildings, hotels, industrial buildings, and religious facilities. The company's loan products also include commercial and industrial loans that are secured by business assets, such as accounts receivable, equipment, and inventory; home equity loans; and secured and unsecured consumer loans, such as lines of credit, automobile loans, deposit account loans, and installment and demand loans. In addition, it provides wealth management services, including estate planning, investment management of assets, trustee under an agreement, trustee under a will, and estate settlement. Further, the company offers title insurance and investment services; and holds other real estate owned and office sites, as well as provides internet and mobile banking, remote deposit capture, and other traditional banking services. First National Corporation was founded in 1907 and is headquartered in Strasburg, Virginia.

About Southern States Bancshares

(Get Free Report)

Southern States Bancshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Southern States Bank that provides community banking services to businesses and individuals. It offers various deposit products, such as savings, money market, and noninterest-bearing demand accounts; certificates of deposit; and time deposits. The company also provides real estate loan products, including loans for real estate construction and development, residential mortgages, and commercial real estate mortgage loans; commercial and industrial loans; and direct consumer installment loans, overdrafts, and other revolving credit loans. In addition, it offers online and mobile banking, and ATM services. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Anniston, Alabama.

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