Reviewing Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ:WTFC) & Great Southern Bancorp (NASDAQ:GSBC)

Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ:WTFC) and Great Southern Bancorp (NASDAQ:GSBC) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

88.6% of Wintrust Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 46.3% of Great Southern Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.6% of Wintrust Financial shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 23.1% of Great Southern Bancorp shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Wintrust Financial 17.96% 9.49% 0.92%
Great Southern Bancorp 26.64% 11.88% 1.42%

Dividends

Wintrust Financial pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Great Southern Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $1.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. Wintrust Financial pays out 18.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Great Southern Bancorp pays out 26.5% 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. Wintrust Financial has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years and Great Southern Bancorp has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Wintrust Financial $1.79 billion 1.29 $355.70 million $6.03 6.66
Great Southern Bancorp $265.95 million 1.99 $73.61 million $5.14 7.31

Wintrust Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Great Southern Bancorp. Wintrust Financial 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.

Risk & Volatility

Wintrust Financial has a beta of 1.62, meaning that its stock price is 62% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Great Southern Bancorp has a beta of 1.06, meaning that its stock price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Wintrust Financial and Great Southern Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Wintrust Financial 0 3 5 1 2.78
Great Southern Bancorp 0 0 0 0 N/A

Wintrust Financial presently has a consensus target price of $51.63, suggesting a potential upside of 28.48%. Given Wintrust Financial’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Wintrust Financial is more favorable than Great Southern Bancorp.

Summary

Wintrust Financial beats Great Southern Bancorp on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Wintrust Financial Company Profile

Wintrust Financial Corporation operates as a financial holding company in the Chicago metropolitan area, southern Wisconsin, and northwest Indiana. It operates in three segments: Community Banking, Specialty Finance, and Wealth Management. The Community Banking segment offers non-interest bearing deposits, non-brokered interest-bearing transaction accounts, and savings and domestic time deposits; home equity, consumer, and real estate loans; safe deposit facilities; and automatic teller machine (ATM), Internet banking, and other services. It also engages in the origination and purchase of residential mortgages for sale into the secondary market; and provision of lending, deposits, and cash management services to condominium, homeowner, and community associations, as well as asset-based lending for middle-market companies. In addition, this segment offers loan and deposit services to mortgage brokerage companies; lending to restaurant franchisees; direct leasing; small business administration loans; commercial mortgages and construction loans; and financial solutions. It provides personal and commercial banking services primarily to individuals, small to mid-sized businesses, local governmental units, and institutional customers. The Specialty Finance segment offers commercial and life insurance premiums financing for businesses and individuals; accounts receivable financing, value-added, and out-sourced administrative services; and other specialty finance services, as well as data processing of payrolls, billing, and cash management services to temporary staffing industry. The Wealth Management segment provides trust and investment, asset management, tax-deferred exchange services, securities brokerage, and retirement plan services. As of December 31, 2018, the company had approximately 167 banking facilities and 222 ATMs. Wintrust Financial Corporation was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois.

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.

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