Analyzing Provident Bancorp (NASDAQ:PVBC) and ESSA Bancorp (NASDAQ:ESSA)

ESSA Bancorp (NASDAQ:ESSAGet Free Report) and Provident Bancorp (NASDAQ:PVBCGet Free Report) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, valuation, risk and dividends.


This table compares ESSA Bancorp and Provident Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ESSA Bancorp 22.87% 9.13% 0.99%
Provident Bancorp -29.35% -12.91% -1.57%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

44.2% of ESSA Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 58.6% of Provident Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.8% of ESSA Bancorp shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.8% of Provident Bancorp shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares ESSA Bancorp and Provident Bancorp’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ESSA Bancorp $71.01 million 2.35 $20.07 million $2.03 7.89
Provident Bancorp $85.48 million 2.05 -$21.47 million ($1.65) -6.01

ESSA Bancorp has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Provident Bancorp. Provident Bancorp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than ESSA Bancorp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for ESSA Bancorp and Provident Bancorp, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ESSA Bancorp 0 0 0 0 N/A
Provident Bancorp 0 1 0 0 2.00

ESSA Bancorp currently has a consensus target price of $17.00, indicating a potential upside of 6.18%. Given ESSA Bancorp’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe ESSA Bancorp is more favorable than Provident Bancorp.

Risk & Volatility

ESSA Bancorp has a beta of 0.28, indicating that its share price is 72% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Provident Bancorp has a beta of 0.72, indicating that its share price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500.


ESSA Bancorp beats Provident Bancorp on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About ESSA Bancorp

(Get Free Report)

ESSA Bancorp, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust that provides a range of financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in Pennsylvania. The company accepts savings accounts, interest bearing demand accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, club accounts, certificates of deposit and IRAs, and other qualified plan accounts, as well as commercial checking accounts. Its loan portfolio includes first mortgage loans for the purchase, construction, or refinancing of one- to four-family residential real estate property; commercial real estate loans; home equity loans and lines of credit; and commercial and other consumer loans, as well as loans secured by deposits and personal unsecured loans. In addition, the company offers insurance benefits consulting services, such as health insurance, life insurance, short term and long term disability, dental, vision, 401(K) retirement planning, and individual health products, as well as asset management and trust, and investment services. It operates community offices, including offices in Monroe County, Lehigh County, Northampton County, Lackawanna County, Luzerne County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1916 and is headquartered in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

About Provident Bancorp

(Get Free Report)

Provident Bancorp, Inc. is a Maryland corporation that was formed in 2019 to be the successor corporation to Provident Bancorp, Inc., a Massachusetts corporation, and the holding company for The Provident Bank. The Provident Bank, a subsidiary of Provident Bancorp, Inc. is an innovative, commercial bank that finds solutions for its business and private clients.

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