Financial Survey: Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) vs. KeyCorp (KEY)

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ: ABCB) and KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ameris Bancorp and KeyCorp’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ameris Bancorp $338.56 million 4.95 $86.96 million $2.34 19.27
KeyCorp $5.69 billion 3.47 $1.07 billion $0.98 18.52

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Ameris Bancorp and KeyCorp, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ameris Bancorp 0 4 2 0 2.33
KeyCorp 2 9 14 0 2.48

Ameris Bancorp presently has a consensus target price of $49.20, indicating a potential upside of 9.09%. KeyCorp has a consensus target price of $20.26, indicating a potential upside of 11.65%. Given KeyCorp’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe KeyCorp is more favorable than Ameris Bancorp.

Dividends

Ameris Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. KeyCorp pays an annual dividend of $0.38 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Ameris Bancorp pays out 17.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. KeyCorp pays out 38.8% 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. KeyCorp has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. KeyCorp is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

82.4% of Ameris Bancorp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.8% of KeyCorp shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.6% of Ameris Bancorp shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of KeyCorp shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Ameris Bancorp and KeyCorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ameris Bancorp 22.66% 12.52% 1.27%
KeyCorp 16.62% 9.88% 1.01%

Volatility & Risk

Ameris Bancorp has a beta of 1.29, suggesting that its stock price is 29% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, KeyCorp has a beta of 1.12, suggesting that its stock price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Ameris Bancorp beats KeyCorp on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ameris Bancorp

Ameris Bancorp is a financial holding company. The Company’s business is conducted through its banking subsidiary, Ameris Bank (the Bank), which provides a range of banking services to its retail and commercial customers. The Company operates through four segments: the Banking Division, the Retail Mortgage Division, the Warehouse Lending Division and the SBA Division. The Banking Division is engaged in the delivery of financial services, which include commercial loans, consumer loans and deposit accounts. The Retail Mortgage Division is engaged in the origination, sales and servicing of one- to four-family residential mortgage loans. The Warehouse Lending Division is engaged in the origination and servicing of warehouse lines to other businesses that are secured by underlying one- to four-family residential mortgage loans. The SBA Division is engaged in the origination, sales and servicing of small business administration (SBA) loans.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp is a bank holding company. The Company is a bank-based financial services company. The Company operates through its subsidiary, KeyBank National Association (KeyBank), which is engaged in providing banking services. Through KeyBank and other subsidiaries, it provides a range of retail and commercial banking, commercial leasing, investment management, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individual, corporate and institutional clients. Its segments include Key Community Bank and Key Corporate Bank. Key Community Bank serves individuals and small to mid-sized businesses by offering a range of deposit, investment, lending, credit card, and personalized wealth management products and business advisory services. Key Corporate Bank is a full-service corporate and investment bank focused on serving the needs of middle market clients in industry sectors, which include consumer, energy, healthcare, industrial, public sector, real estate and technology.

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