Critical Survey: Great Southern Bancorp (NASDAQ:GSBC) vs. ConnectOne Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNOB)

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Great Southern Bancorp (NASDAQ:GSBC) and ConnectOne Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNOB) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, institutional ownership and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Great Southern Bancorp and ConnectOne Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Great Southern Bancorp 0 0 0 0 N/A
ConnectOne Bancorp 0 0 1 0 3.00

ConnectOne Bancorp has a consensus target price of $27.00, suggesting a potential upside of 32.74%. Given ConnectOne Bancorp’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe ConnectOne Bancorp is more favorable than Great Southern Bancorp.

Profitability

This table compares Great Southern Bancorp and ConnectOne Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Great Southern Bancorp 28.97% 14.06% 1.60%
ConnectOne Bancorp 27.54% 11.59% 1.31%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Great Southern Bancorp and ConnectOne Bancorp’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Great Southern Bancorp $242.17 million 3.26 $67.11 million $4.71 11.81
ConnectOne Bancorp $221.87 million 3.24 $60.35 million $2.23 9.12

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

Volatility and Risk

Great Southern Bancorp has a beta of 1.05, suggesting that its stock price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, ConnectOne Bancorp has a beta of 0.9, suggesting that its stock price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Great Southern Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $1.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. ConnectOne Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Great Southern Bancorp pays out 27.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. ConnectOne Bancorp pays out 16.1% 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. Great Southern Bancorp has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Great Southern Bancorp is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

45.4% of Great Southern Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.7% of ConnectOne Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 23.2% of Great Southern Bancorp shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.6% of ConnectOne Bancorp shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Great Southern Bancorp beats ConnectOne Bancorp on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Great Southern Bancorp Company Profile

Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for Great Southern Bank that offers a range of financial services in the United States. Its deposit products include regular savings accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, fixed interest rate certificates with varying maturities, certificates of deposit, brokered certificates, and individual retirement accounts. The company's loan portfolio comprises residential and commercial real estate loans, construction loans, commercial business loans, home improvement loans, and unsecured consumer loans, as well as secured consumer loans, including automobile loans, boat loans, home equity loans, loans secured by savings deposits. It also provides insurance and related services. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated 99 retail banking centers and approximately 200 automated teller machines in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, and Arkansas; and 6 commercial and 1 mortgage loan production offices Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Omaha, Nebraska, as well as in Tulsa, Okla. Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.

ConnectOne Bancorp Company Profile

ConnectOne Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for ConnectOne Bank, a state chartered bank that provides various commercial banking products and services. The company offers a range of deposit products, including personal and business checking accounts, retirement accounts, money market accounts, and time and savings accounts. It also provides personal and commercial business loans on a secured and unsecured basis; revolving lines of credit; commercial mortgage loans; residential mortgages on primary and secondary residences; home equity loans; bridge loans; and other personal purpose loans. In addition, the company offers credit cards, wire transfers, access to automated teller services, Internet banking, treasury direct, ACH origination, lockbox, mobile banking by phone, safe deposit box, and remote deposit capture services. As of January 24, 2019, the company offered its commercial and consumer banking and lending services and products through its 29 banking offices located in New York and New Jersey. It serves small-to-medium sized businesses, high net worth individuals, professional practices, and consumer and retail clients. The company was formerly known as Center Bancorp, Inc. and changed its name to ConnectOne Bancorp, Inc. in July 2014. ConnectOne Bancorp, Inc. was incorporated in 1982 and is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

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