Contrasting Middlefield Banc (NASDAQ:MBCN) & First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBP)

Middlefield Banc (NASDAQ:MBCN) and First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability and earnings.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Middlefield Banc and First Bancorp’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Middlefield Banc $59.37 million 2.01 $12.71 million $1.95 9.58
First Bancorp $766.47 million 1.61 $167.38 million $0.75 7.55

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

34.6% of Middlefield Banc shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.7% of First Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 7.3% of Middlefield Banc shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.1% of First Bancorp shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Middlefield Banc and First Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Middlefield Banc 17.82% 7.62% 0.83%
First Bancorp 13.71% 4.67% 0.78%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Middlefield Banc and First Bancorp, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Middlefield Banc 0 1 0 0 2.00
First Bancorp 0 1 0 0 2.00

First Bancorp has a consensus target price of $7.00, suggesting a potential upside of 23.67%. Given First Bancorp’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe First Bancorp is more favorable than Middlefield Banc.

Risk and Volatility

Middlefield Banc has a beta of 0.77, suggesting that its share price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Bancorp has a beta of 1.44, suggesting that its share price is 44% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Middlefield Banc pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. First Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Middlefield Banc pays out 30.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. First Bancorp pays out 26.7% 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. Middlefield Banc has increased its dividend for 1 consecutive years and First Bancorp has increased its dividend for 1 consecutive years. First Bancorp is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

First Bancorp beats Middlefield Banc on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Middlefield Banc

Middlefield Banc Corp. operates as the bank holding company for The Middlefield Banking Company that provides various commercial banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals, small business owners, and retail customers in northeastern and central Ohio. It accepts checking, savings, negotiable order of withdrawal, and money market accounts, as well as time certificates of deposit and IRA accounts. The company offers operational and working capital, term business, residential construction, professional, and residential and mortgage loans, as well as consumer installment loans for home improvements, automobiles, boats, and other personal expenditures; loans to finance capital purchases; selected guaranteed or subsidized loan programs for small businesses; and agricultural loans. It also provides safe deposit facilities, travelers' and official checks, money orders, and ATM services; online banking and bill payment services to individuals; and online cash management services to business customers. In addition, the company resolves and disposes troubled assets in Ohio. As of January 17, 2019, it had 15 full-service banking centers and an LPL Financial brokerage office serving Beachwood, Chardon, Cortland, Dublin, Garrettsville, Mantua, Middlefield, Newbury, Orwell, Powell, Solon, Sunbury, Twinsburg, and Westerville, as well as a loan production office in Mentor, Ohio. The company was founded in 1901 and is headquartered in Middlefield, Ohio.

About First Bancorp

First BanCorp. operates as the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico that provides a range of financial products and services to retail, commercial, and institutional clients. The company operates in six segments: Commercial and Corporate Banking, Consumer (Retail) Banking, Mortgage Banking, Treasury and Investments, United States Operations, and Virgin Islands Operations. The Commercial and Corporate Banking segment offers commercial real estate and construction loans, floor plan financing, and cash and business management services, as well as broker-dealer services. The Consumer (Retail) Banking segment provides auto, boat, and personal loans; credit cards; lines of credit; deposit products comprising interest bearing and non-interest bearing checking and savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, and retail certificates of deposit (CDs); finance leasing and insurance services. The Mortgage Banking segment is involved in the origination, sale, and servicing of various residential mortgage loan products and related hedging activities; and acquisition and sale of mortgages in the secondary markets. The Treasury and Investments segment engages in the treasury and investment management activities, such as funding and liquidity management. The United States Operations segment offers checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as retail CDs; and residential mortgages, home equity loans, lines of credit, automobile loans, and term loans, as well as Internet banking, cash management, remote data capture, automated clearing house transaction services. The Virgin Islands Operations segment is involved in the consumer, commercial lending, and deposit-taking activities. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated 46 branches in Puerto Rico, 11 branches in the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, and 10 branches in the state of Florida. First BanCorp. was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Santurce, Puerto Rico.

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