Comparing Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST)

Citigroup (NYSE:CGet Rating) and Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFSTGet Rating) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, risk, dividends, earnings and institutional ownership.

Risk and Volatility

Citigroup has a beta of 1.61, suggesting that its stock price is 61% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Southern First Bancshares has a beta of 0.94, suggesting that its stock price is 6% less volatile than the S&P 500.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Citigroup 22.95% 10.96% 0.86%
Southern First Bancshares 42.36% 18.06% 1.71%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

74.9% of Citigroup shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 83.9% of Southern First Bancshares shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.1% of Citigroup shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 7.3% of Southern First Bancshares shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Citigroup and Southern First Bancshares, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Citigroup 1 6 6 0 2.38
Southern First Bancshares 0 0 0 0 N/A

Citigroup presently has a consensus target price of $70.48, indicating a potential upside of 47.88%. Given Citigroup’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Citigroup is more favorable than Southern First Bancshares.

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Citigroup $79.87 billion 1.18 $21.95 billion $8.48 5.62
Southern First Bancshares $110.27 million 3.15 $46.71 million $5.84 7.45

Citigroup has higher revenue and earnings than Southern First Bancshares. Citigroup 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.


Southern First Bancshares beats Citigroup on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Citigroup Company Profile (Get Rating)

Citigroup Inc., a diversified financial services holding company, provides various financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions in North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The company operates in two segments, Global Consumer Banking (GCB) and Institutional Clients Group (ICG). The GCB segment offers traditional banking services to retail customers through retail banking, Citi-branded cards, and Citi retail services. It also provides various banking, credit card, lending, and investment services through a network of local branches, offices, and electronic delivery systems. The ICG segment offers wholesale banking products and services, including fixed income and equity sales and trading, foreign exchange, prime brokerage, derivative, equity and fixed income research, corporate lending, investment banking and advisory, private banking, cash management, trade finance, and securities services to corporate, institutional, public sector, and high-net-worth clients. As of December 31, 2020, it operated 2,303 branches primarily in the United States, Mexico, and Asia. Citigroup Inc. was founded in 1812 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Southern First Bancshares Company Profile (Get Rating)

Southern First Bancshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Southern First Bank that provides various banking products and services to general public in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It operates through three segments: Commercial and Retail Banking, Mortgage Banking, and Corporate Operations. 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. It operates through eight retail offices located in Greenville, Charleston, and Columbia; three retail offices located in Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte markets; and one retail office located in Atlanta. The company was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.

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