Contrasting Columbia Financial (NASDAQ:CLBK) & Meta Financial Group (NASDAQ:CASH)

Columbia Financial (NASDAQ:CLBK) and Meta Financial Group (NASDAQ:CASH) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, profitability, risk, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Columbia Financial and Meta Financial Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Columbia Financial 0 1 1 0 2.50
Meta Financial Group 0 0 2 1 3.33



Columbia Financial presently has a consensus price target of $15.50, suggesting a potential downside of 2.02%. Meta Financial Group has a consensus price target of $38.00, suggesting a potential upside of 13.77%. Given Meta Financial Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Meta Financial Group is more favorable than Columbia Financial.

Dividends

Meta Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. Columbia Financial does not pay a dividend. Meta Financial Group pays out 7.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

15.2% of Columbia Financial shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.2% of Meta Financial Group shares are held by institutional investors. 0.7% of Columbia Financial shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.7% of Meta Financial Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Columbia Financial and Meta Financial Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Columbia Financial $247.98 million 7.42 $22.74 million N/A N/A
Meta Financial Group $343.06 million 3.69 $51.62 million $2.81 11.89

Meta Financial Group has higher revenue and earnings than Columbia Financial.

Profitability

This table compares Columbia Financial and Meta Financial Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Columbia Financial 19.53% 5.31% 0.77%
Meta Financial Group 16.57% 11.64% 1.52%

Volatility and Risk

Columbia Financial has a beta of 0.45, indicating that its share price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Meta Financial Group has a beta of 1.28, indicating that its share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Meta Financial Group beats Columbia Financial on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Columbia Financial Company Profile

Columbia Financial, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Columbia Bank that provides financial services to businesses and consumers in the United States. The company offers non-interest bearing demand deposits, such as individual checking and commercial checking accounts; interest-bearing demand accounts comprising interest earning checking accounts and municipal accounts; and savings and club accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. It also provides loans, including commercial real estate and multifamily loans, one- to four-family residential loans, commercial business loans, construction loans, home equity loans and advances, and other consumer loans. In addition, the company offers title insurance products; and wealth management services. It operates 50 full-service banking offices in 10 of New Jersey's 21 counties. The company was founded in 1927 and is headquartered in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Columbia Financial, Inc. is a subsidiary of Columbia Bank MHC.

Meta Financial Group Company Profile

Meta Financial Group, Inc. operates as the holding company for MetaBank that offers various banking products and services in the United States. The company accepts various deposit products, including statement savings accounts, money market savings accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, and checking accounts; and deposits related to prepaid cards, which primarily comprise checking accounts and certificate accounts. It also provides loans, such as commercial finance loans, commercial and multi-family real estate loans, one-to-four family mortgage loans, consumer finance loans, taxpayer advance loans, agriculture loans, consumer and commercial operating loans, and commercial insurance premium finance products. In addition, the company issues prepaid cards and consumer credit products; sponsors automated teller machines into various debit networks; and offers tax refund transfer and other payment industry products and services. It operates 10 full-service branch offices in Storm Lake and Des Moines, Iowa; and Brookings and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as well as 17 non-branch offices located in South Dakota, Texas, California, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Michigan, and Canada. The company was founded in 1954 and is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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