Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) & Financial Institutions (NASDAQ:FISI) Head-To-Head Review

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFSTGet Free Report) and Financial Institutions (NASDAQ:FISIGet 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 profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Southern First Bancshares and Financial Institutions, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southern First Bancshares 0 0 1 0 3.00
Financial Institutions 0 3 0 0 2.00

Southern First Bancshares presently has a consensus target price of $44.00, indicating a potential upside of 57.03%. Financial Institutions has a consensus target price of $20.67, indicating a potential upside of 16.30%. Given Southern First Bancshares’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Southern First Bancshares is more favorable than Financial Institutions.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Southern First Bancshares and Financial Institutions’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southern First Bancshares $87.51 million 2.61 $13.43 million $1.64 17.09
Financial Institutions $334.38 million 0.82 $50.26 million $3.16 5.62

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


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southern First Bancshares 6.69% 4.33% 0.33%
Financial Institutions 15.03% 12.24% 0.82%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

75.0% of Southern First Bancshares shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.5% of Financial Institutions shares are held by institutional investors. 7.6% of Southern First Bancshares shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.7% of Financial Institutions shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Southern First Bancshares has a beta of 0.78, suggesting that its stock price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Financial Institutions has a beta of 0.87, suggesting that its stock price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500.

About Southern First Bancshares

(Get Free Report)

Southern First Bancshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Southern First Bank that provides commercial, consumer, and mortgage loans to the general public in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. The company accepts various deposit products that include checking accounts, commercial checking accounts, and savings accounts, as well as other time deposits, including daily money market accounts and long-term certificates of deposit. Its loan portfolio comprises commercial real estate loans; construction real estate loans; commercial business loans for various lines of businesses, such as the manufacturing, service industry, and professional service areas; consumer real estate and home equity loans; and other consumer loans, including secured and unsecured installment loans and revolving lines of credit. In addition, the company provides other bank services, such as internet banking, cash management, safe deposit boxes, direct deposit, automatic drafts, bill payment, and mobile banking services. Southern First Bancshares, Inc. was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.

About Financial Institutions

(Get Free Report)

Financial Institutions, Inc. operates as a holding company for the Five Star Bank, a chartered bank that provides banking and financial services to individuals, municipalities, and businesses in New York. The company provides checking and savings account programs, including money market accounts, certificates of deposit, sweep investments, and individual retirement and other qualified plan accounts, as well as NOW accounts. Its loan products include term loans and lines of credit; short and medium-term commercial loans for working capital, business expansion, and purchase of equipment; commercial business loans to the agricultural industry; commercial mortgage loans; one-to-four family residential mortgage loans, home improvement loans, closed-end home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit; and consumer loans, such as automobile, secured installment, and personal loans. The company offers personal insurance products, including automobile, homeowners, boat, recreational vehicle, landlord, and umbrella coverage; commercial insurance comprising property, liability, automobile, inland marine, workers compensation, bonds, crop, and umbrella insurance products; and financial services, such as life and disability insurance, medicare supplements, long-term care, annuities, mutual funds, and retirement programs. In addition, it offers customized investment advisory, wealth management, investment consulting, and retirement plan services, as well as operates a real estate investment trust that holds residential mortgages and commercial real estate loans. Financial Institutions, Inc. was founded in 1817 and is headquartered in Warsaw, New York.

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