Critical Contrast: Waterstone Financial (WSBF) & Atlantic Coast Financial (ACFC)

Waterstone Financial (NASDAQ:WSBF) and Atlantic Coast Financial (NASDAQ:ACFC) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings and profitability.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Waterstone Financial and Atlantic Coast Financial’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Waterstone Financial $191.51 million 2.51 $25.96 million N/A N/A
Atlantic Coast Financial $41.36 million 4.09 $3.16 million $0.34 32.03

Waterstone Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Atlantic Coast Financial.

Profitability

This table compares Waterstone Financial and Atlantic Coast Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Waterstone Financial 14.16% 7.28% 1.60%
Atlantic Coast Financial 7.51% 5.91% 0.57%

Risk and Volatility

Waterstone Financial has a beta of 0.06, indicating that its stock price is 94% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Atlantic Coast Financial has a beta of 0.49, indicating that its stock price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Waterstone Financial and Atlantic Coast Financial, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Waterstone Financial 1 1 0 0 1.50
Atlantic Coast Financial 0 1 0 0 2.00

Waterstone Financial presently has a consensus target price of $15.88, indicating a potential downside of 3.26%. Atlantic Coast Financial has a consensus target price of $8.50, indicating a potential downside of 21.95%. Given Waterstone Financial’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Waterstone Financial is more favorable than Atlantic Coast Financial.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

59.0% of Waterstone Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.8% of Atlantic Coast Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. 12.0% of Waterstone Financial shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 10.9% of Atlantic Coast Financial shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Waterstone Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Atlantic Coast Financial does not pay a dividend. Waterstone Financial has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Summary

Waterstone Financial beats Atlantic Coast Financial on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Waterstone Financial Company Profile

Waterstone Financial, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for WaterStone Bank SSB that provides various financial services to customers in southeastern Wisconsin, the United States. It operates through two segments, Community Banking and Mortgage Banking. The Community Banking segment provides consumer and business banking products and services, such as deposit and transactional solutions, including checking accounts, online banking and bill pay services, and money transfer services, as well as credit, debit, and pre-paid cards; investable funds solutions comprising savings, money market deposit, and individual retirement accounts, as well as certificates of deposit; lending solutions consisting of residential mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit, personal and installment loans, real estate financing, business loans, and business lines of credit; and fixed and variable annuities, and insurance products, as well as trust and investment management accounts. The Mortgage Banking segment offers residential mortgage loans for the purpose of sale in the secondary market. The company also provides transaction deposit, demand deposit, and non-interest bearing demand accounts, as well as time deposits; construction and land loans; and term loans for working capital, inventory, and general corporate use. In addition, it invests in a portfolio of securities, which include mortgage-backed securities, government-sponsored enterprise bonds, municipal obligations, and other debt securities. Waterstone Financial, Inc. operates 11 full-service banking offices, 1 drive-through office, and 11 automated teller machines located in Milwaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties, Wisconsin, as well as a loan production office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company was formerly known as Wauwatosa Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to Waterstone Financial, Inc. in August 2008. Waterstone Financial, Inc. was founded in 1921 and is based in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Atlantic Coast Financial Company Profile

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation operates as the holding company for Atlantic Coast Bank that provides various banking services to individual and business customers primarily in Northeast Florida, Central Florida, and Southeast Georgia. It accepts various deposit products, including noninterest-bearing and interest-bearing demand, savings, money market demand, time deposit, and checking accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. The company also offers one-to four-family residential first and second mortgage, home-equity, commercial real estate, commercial and residential construction, multi-family real estate, commercial business, and automobile and other consumer loans. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 10 full-service branch offices and 4 lending offices. The company was founded in 1939 and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

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