Comparing Amerant Bancorp (NASDAQ:AMTB) and First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS)

Amerant Bancorp (NASDAQ:AMTBGet Rating) and First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMSGet Rating) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Amerant Bancorp and First Bancshares’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Amerant Bancorp 30.65% 8.78% 0.93%
First Bancshares 29.95% 9.72% 1.14%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Amerant Bancorp and First Bancshares, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Amerant Bancorp 0 1 5 0 2.83
First Bancshares 0 2 0 0 2.00

Amerant Bancorp currently has a consensus target price of $29.33, indicating a potential upside of 2.39%. First Bancshares has a consensus target price of $44.50, indicating a potential upside of 36.25%. Given First Bancshares’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe First Bancshares is more favorable than Amerant Bancorp.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

31.4% of Amerant Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 64.4% of First Bancshares shares are owned by institutional investors. 17.2% of Amerant Bancorp shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.5% of First Bancshares shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Amerant Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.06 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.2%. First Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Amerant Bancorp pays out 2.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. First Bancshares pays out 22.4% 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 Bancshares has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. First Bancshares is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Amerant Bancorp and First Bancshares’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Amerant Bancorp $368.46 million 2.92 $112.92 million $3.02 9.49
First Bancshares $214.22 million 3.12 $64.17 million $3.04 10.74

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

Volatility & Risk

Amerant Bancorp has a beta of 1.08, indicating that its stock price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Bancshares has a beta of 1.12, indicating that its stock price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

First Bancshares beats Amerant Bancorp on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Amerant Bancorp (Get Rating)

Amerant Bancorp Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Amerant Bank, N.A. that provides banking products and services to individuals and businesses in the United States and internationally. The company offers checking, savings, and money market accounts; and certificates of deposits. It also provides variable and fixed rate commercial real estate loans; loans secured by owner-occupied properties; loans to domestic and foreign individuals primarily secured by personal residence; working capital loans, asset-based lending, participations in shared national credits, purchased receivables, and small business administration loans; loans to financial institutions and acceptances; and consumer loans and overdrafts, such as automobile, personal, or loans secured by cash or securities and revolving credit card agreements. In addition, the company offers trust and estate planning products and services to high-net-worth customers, brokerage and investment advisory services in global capital markets, and wealth management and fiduciary services. Further, it provides debit and credit cards, night depositories, direct deposits, cashier's checks, safe deposit boxes, letters of credit, and treasury management services, including wire transfer, remote deposit capture, and automated clearinghouse services; derivative instruments; and online and mobile banking, account balances, statements and other documents, online transfers and bill payment, and electronic delivery of customer statements services, as well as automated teller machines, and banking by mobile devices, telephone, and mail. As of December 31, 2021, the company operated 24 banking centers comprising 17 in Florida and 7 in Texas. It also operates loan production offices in Tampa, Florida. The company was formerly known as Mercantil Bank Holding Corporation and changed its name to Amerant Bancorp Inc. in June 2019. Amerant Bancorp Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida.

About First Bancshares (Get Rating)

The First Bancshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for The First, A National Banking Association that provides general commercial and retail banking services. The company operates through three segments: Commercial/Retail Bank, Mortgage Banking Division, and Holding Company. It offers deposit services, including checking, NOW, and savings accounts; other time deposits, such as daily money market accounts and longer-term certificates of deposit; and individual retirement and health savings accounts. The company also provides commercial loans comprising secured and unsecured loans for working capital, business expansion, and purchase of equipment and machinery; consumer loans consisting of equity lines of credit, as well as secured and unsecured loans for financing automobiles, home improvements, education, and personal investments; and real estate construction and acquisition loans. In addition, it originates loans to purchase existing residential homes or construct new homes, and to refinance existing mortgages; and provides financial and wealth management services. Further, the company offers internet banking services, automated teller machines, voice response telephone inquiry services, commercial sweep accounts, cash management services, safe deposit boxes, merchant, mobile deposit, direct deposit of payroll and social security checks, automatic drafts for various accounts, and credit card services. It primarily serves small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns, individuals, associations, organizations, and governmental authorities. As of December 31, 2021, the company operated 90 locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. The First Bancshares, Inc. was incorporated in 1995 and is headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

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