Southern States Bancshares (NASDAQ:SSBK – Get Free Report) and Lakeland Bancorp (NASDAQ:LBAI – Get Free Report) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk and profitability.
Valuation & Earnings
This table compares Southern States Bancshares and Lakeland Bancorp’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|Southern States Bancshares||$91.53 million||2.43||$27.07 million||$3.74||6.72|
|Lakeland Bancorp||$320.44 million||2.60||$107.37 million||$1.49||8.59|
Lakeland Bancorp has higher revenue and earnings than Southern States Bancshares. Southern States Bancshares is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Lakeland Bancorp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
Insider and Institutional Ownership
Southern States Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Lakeland Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.58 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. Southern States Bancshares pays out 9.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Lakeland Bancorp pays out 38.9% 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. Lakeland Bancorp has raised its dividend for 12 consecutive years. Lakeland Bancorp is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.
This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Southern States Bancshares and Lakeland Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|Southern States Bancshares||0||1||0||0||2.00|
Southern States Bancshares currently has a consensus price target of $26.00, suggesting a potential upside of 3.38%. Lakeland Bancorp has a consensus price target of $20.80, suggesting a potential upside of 62.50%. Given Lakeland Bancorp’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Lakeland Bancorp is more favorable than Southern States Bancshares.
Volatility & Risk
Southern States Bancshares has a beta of 0.04, indicating that its share price is 96% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lakeland Bancorp has a beta of 0.85, indicating that its share price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.
This table compares Southern States Bancshares and Lakeland Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|Southern States Bancshares||25.27%||16.60%||1.46%|
Lakeland Bancorp beats Southern States Bancshares on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.
About Southern States Bancshares
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.
About Lakeland Bancorp
Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Lakeland Bank that offers various banking products and services for individuals and small to medium sized businesses. It provides commercial banking services, including savings, money market, and time accounts, as well as demand deposits. The company is also involved in lending services, including commercial real estate loans, commercial and industrial loans, short and medium term loans, lines of credit, letters of credit, inventory and accounts receivable financing, real estate construction loans, residential mortgage loans, Small Business Administration loans, and merchant credit card services; financing solutions to small and medium-sized companies; online banking, mobile banking, and wire transfer services; and cash management services, such as remote capture of deposits and overnight sweep repurchase agreements. In addition, the company provides consumer banking services, which include checking accounts, savings accounts, interest-bearing checking accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, online banking, secured and unsecured loans, consumer installment loans, mortgage loans, and safe deposit services. Further, it offers investment advisory services for individuals and businesses; and securities brokerage services, including mutual funds and variable annuities, as well as commercial title insurance services and life insurance products. The company was incorporated in 1989 and is headquartered in Oak Ridge, New Jersey.
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