Contrasting Union Bankshares (NASDAQ:UNB) and Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN)

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Union Bankshares (NASDAQ:UNB) and Lakeland Financial (NASDAQ:LKFN) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

16.1% of Union Bankshares shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.3% of Lakeland Financial shares are held by institutional investors. 2.4% of Union Bankshares shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.6% of Lakeland Financial shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Union Bankshares pays an annual dividend of $1.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. Lakeland Financial pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Lakeland Financial pays out 38.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Union Bankshares has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years and Lakeland Financial has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

Union Bankshares has a beta of 0.43, suggesting that its share price is 57% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lakeland Financial has a beta of 0.94, suggesting that its share price is 6% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Union Bankshares and Lakeland Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Union Bankshares 15.90% 15.59% 1.28%
Lakeland Financial 33.35% 16.03% 1.75%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Union Bankshares and Lakeland Financial, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Union Bankshares 0 0 1 0 3.00
Lakeland Financial 0 1 0 0 2.00

Union Bankshares presently has a consensus target price of $42.00, indicating a potential upside of 53.51%. Given Union Bankshares’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Union Bankshares is more favorable than Lakeland Financial.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Union Bankshares and Lakeland Financial’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Union Bankshares $41.65 million 2.94 $7.07 million N/A N/A
Lakeland Financial $239.08 million 4.61 $80.41 million $3.13 13.74

Lakeland Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Union Bankshares.

Summary

Lakeland Financial beats Union Bankshares on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Union Bankshares Company Profile

Union Bankshares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Union Bank that provides retail, commercial, and municipal banking services in northern Vermont and New Hampshire. It offers retail depository services, such as personal checking, savings, money market, IRA/SEP/KEOGH, and health savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit. The company also provides and commercial real estate loans; consumer loans; and municipal loans; commercial loans for plant and equipment, working capital, real estate renovation, and other business purposes to business owners and investors; and residential real estate loans. In addition, it offers small business administration guaranteed, and residential construction and mortgage loans; online cash management services, including account reconciliation, credit card depository, automated clearing house origination, wire transfers, and night depository services; merchant credit card services; remote deposit capture services; and online mortgage application services. Further, the company provides business checking accounts; standby letters of credit, bank checks or money orders, and safe deposit boxes; ATM services and cards; debit cards; and telephone, Internet, and mobile banking services; home improvement loans and overdraft checking facility against preauthorized lines of credit; customer repurchase agreement sweeps; and asset management, fiduciary, and trust services. The company offers retail banking services to individuals; and commercial banking services to small and medium sized corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, as well as nonprofit organizations, local municipalities, and school districts. The company operates 18 banking offices, 2 loan centers, and various ATMs. Union Bankshares, Inc. was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Morrisville, Vermont.

Lakeland Financial Company Profile

Lakeland Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Lake City Bank that provides various banking products and services. The company accepts various deposit products, such as noninterest bearing, interest-bearing checking, savings, money market, NOW, and demand deposits. Its loan products include commercial and industrial, commercial real estate and multi-family residential, agri-business and agricultural, consumer 1-4 family mortgage, and other consumer loans. The company also offers retail and merchant credit card services; corporate treasury management, wealth advisory, and trust services; retail brokerage services, including various financial and investment products, such as annuities and life insurance; and Internet business banking and online treasury management services. It serves commercial real estate, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, retail, wholesale, finance and insurance, accommodation and food services, and health care industries. As of January 25, 2019, the company operated 50 offices in Northern and Central Indiana. Lakeland Financial Corporation was founded in 1872 and is headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana.

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