Head-To-Head Contrast: Bank of the James Financial Group (NASDAQ:BOTJ) versus United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI)

Bank of the James Financial Group (NASDAQ:BOTJ) and United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Bank of the James Financial Group and United Community Banks’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Bank of the James Financial Group 16.20% 9.93% 0.81%
United Community Banks 27.98% 12.33% 1.42%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Bank of the James Financial Group and United Community Banks, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Bank of the James Financial Group 0 0 0 0 N/A
United Community Banks 0 4 2 0 2.33

United Community Banks has a consensus target price of $30.00, indicating a potential upside of 5.01%. Given United Community Banks’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe United Community Banks is more favorable than Bank of the James Financial Group.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Bank of the James Financial Group and United Community Banks’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Bank of the James Financial Group $32.21 million 2.00 $5.30 million N/A N/A
United Community Banks $593.04 million 3.82 $166.11 million $2.14 13.35

United Community Banks has higher revenue and earnings than Bank of the James Financial Group.

Dividends

Bank of the James Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. United Community Banks pays an annual dividend of $0.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. United Community Banks pays out 31.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. United Community Banks has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. United Community Banks is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

33.2% of Bank of the James Financial Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.5% of United Community Banks shares are held by institutional investors. 10.4% of Bank of the James Financial Group shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of United Community Banks shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Bank of the James Financial Group has a beta of 0.41, suggesting that its share price is 59% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Community Banks has a beta of 1.24, suggesting that its share price is 24% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

United Community Banks beats Bank of the James Financial Group on 13 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Bank of the James Financial Group

Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Bank of the James that provides general retail and commercial banking services to individuals, businesses, associations and organizations, and governmental authorities in Virginia. It accepts checking, savings, and individual retirement accounts, as well as other time deposits, including money market accounts and certificates of deposit. The company also offers loans to small- and medium-sized businesses for the purchases of equipment, facilities upgrades, inventory acquisition, and various working capital purposes; commercial and residential construction and development loans; commercial real estate mortgage loans; and secured and unsecured consumer loans, such as lines of credit and overdraft lines of credit, as well as personal, automobile, installment, demand, and home equity loans for personal, family, or household purposes. In addition, it provides other banking services comprising safe deposit boxes, traveler's checks, direct deposit of payroll and social security checks, automatic drafts for various accounts, and treasury management and credit card merchant services. Further, the company offers securities brokerage and investment services; and telephone and Internet banking services comprising online bill pay, as well as acts as an agent for insurance and annuity products. It operates 13 full service locations, 3 limited service branches, 1 loan production offices, and 3 mortgage production offices. The company was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia.

About United Community Banks

United Community Banks, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for United Community Bank that provides retail and corporate banking services to individuals and businesses. It offers various deposit accounts, such as checking accounts, savings and time deposits accounts, NOW accounts, money market deposits, and certificates of deposit. The company also provides secured and unsecured loans that include commercial real estate, commercial and industrial, commercial construction, residential construction and mortgage, and indirect auto loans, as well as home equity lines of credits and fixed and adjustable-rate home mortgage loans. It also offers wire transfers, brokerage services, and other financial services, as well as risk management, payment processing, and merchant services. In addition, the company owns an insurance agency. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 156 locations in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. United Community Banks, Inc. was founded in 1950 and is based in Blairsville, Georgia.

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