WesBanco (NASDAQ: WSBC) and Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, risk, dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares WesBanco and Regions Financial’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
WesBanco $367.60 million 4.94 $86.63 million $2.34 17.63
Regions Financial $5.97 billion 3.40 $1.16 billion $0.95 18.39

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

Profitability

This table compares WesBanco and Regions Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
WesBanco 24.73% 7.66% 1.07%
Regions Financial 20.14% 7.56% 0.96%

Dividends

WesBanco pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Regions Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. WesBanco pays out 44.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Regions Financial pays out 37.9% 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. WesBanco has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years. WesBanco is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

59.1% of WesBanco shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.3% of Regions Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.1% of WesBanco shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of Regions Financial shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

WesBanco has a beta of 1, meaning that its share price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.Comparatively, Regions Financial has a beta of 1.3, meaning that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for WesBanco and Regions Financial, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
WesBanco 0 5 2 0 2.29
Regions Financial 2 15 3 2 2.23

WesBanco presently has a consensus target price of $42.25, indicating a potential upside of 2.40%. Regions Financial has a consensus target price of $16.03, indicating a potential downside of 8.26%. Given WesBanco’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe WesBanco is more favorable than Regions Financial.

Summary

WesBanco beats Regions Financial on 10 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

WesBanco Company Profile

WesBanco, Inc. (WesBanco) is a bank holding company. The Company offers a range of financial services, including retail banking, corporate banking, personal and corporate trust services, brokerage services, mortgage banking and insurance. WesBanco offers its services through two segments: community banking, which offers services, such as commercial demand, individual demand and time deposit accounts, as well as commercial, mortgage and individual installment loans, and trust and investment services, which offers trust services, as well as various alternative investment products, including mutual funds. The Community Banking segment also offers insurance and securities brokerage services, among others. As of December 31, 2016, WesBanco operated one commercial bank, WesBanco Bank, Inc. through 174 branches and 163 automated teller machines (ATMs) located in West Virginia, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Regions Financial Company Profile

Regions Financial Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company conducts its banking operations through Regions Bank, an Alabama state-chartered commercial bank, which is a member of the Federal Reserve System. It operates in three segments: Corporate Bank, which represents its commercial banking functions, including commercial and industrial, commercial real estate and investor real estate lending; Consumer Bank, which represents its branch network, including consumer banking products and services related to residential first mortgages, home equity lines and loans, small business loans, indirect loans, consumer credit cards and other consumer loans, as well as the corresponding deposit relationships, and Wealth Management, which offers individuals, businesses, governmental institutions and non-profit entities a range of solutions to enable transfer of wealth. It provides traditional commercial, retail and mortgage banking services, as well as other financial services.

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