Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ: HBAN) and Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership and earnings.

Dividends

Huntington Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Zions Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Huntington Bancshares pays out 44.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Zions Bancorp pays out 33.6% 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.

Profitability

This table compares Huntington Bancshares and Zions Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Huntington Bancshares 26.97% 12.64% 1.20%
Zions Bancorp 24.49% 10.41% 1.13%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

75.3% of Huntington Bancshares shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.3% of Zions Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 1.1% of Huntington Bancshares shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Zions Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Huntington Bancshares has a beta of 1.34, suggesting that its share price is 34% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Zions Bancorp has a beta of 1.39, suggesting that its share price is 39% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Huntington Bancshares and Zions Bancorp’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Huntington Bancshares $4.74 billion 3.46 $1.19 billion $0.98 15.17
Zions Bancorp $2.74 billion 3.95 $592.00 million $2.86 19.16

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Huntington Bancshares and Zions Bancorp, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Huntington Bancshares 0 9 12 0 2.57
Zions Bancorp 1 6 13 0 2.60

Huntington Bancshares currently has a consensus target price of $16.98, suggesting a potential upside of 14.16%. Zions Bancorp has a consensus target price of $58.35, suggesting a potential upside of 6.46%. Given Huntington Bancshares’ higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Huntington Bancshares is more favorable than Zions Bancorp.

Summary

Zions Bancorp beats Huntington Bancshares on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Huntington Bancshares

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated operates as a holding company for The Huntington National Bank that provides commercial, small business, consumer, and mortgage banking services. The company's Consumer and Business Banking segment offers financial products and services, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, consumer loans, and small business loans; and investments, mortgages, insurance, interest rate risk protection, and foreign exchange and treasury management services. Its Commercial Banking segment provides corporate risk management services; institutional sales, trading, and underwriting services; treasury management services; and other financing solutions, as well as lends real estate developers, REITs, and other customers. The company's Vehicle Finance segment offers financing for automobiles, light-duty trucks, recreational vehicles, and marine craft at franchised dealerships; and financing the acquisition of new and used vehicle inventory of franchised dealerships. Its Regional Banking and The Huntington Private Client Group segment provides deposits, lending, other banking, wealth management, investment and portfolio management, fiduciary administration, trust, retirement plan and trust, and institutional and mutual fund custody services. The company provides online, mobile, and telephone banking services, as well as ATM services. As of December 31, 2017, it had 10 private client group offices and 956 branches. The company was founded in 1866 and is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

About Zions Bancorp

Zions Bancorporation, a financial holding company, provides a range of banking and related services primarily in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The company offers community banking services, such as small and medium-sized business and corporate banking; commercial and residential development, construction, and term lending; retail banking; treasury cash management and related products and services; and residential mortgage servicing and lending. It also provides trust and wealth management services; capital markets services, including municipal finance advisory and underwriting; and investment services. In addition, the company offers personal banking services to individuals, including home mortgages, bankcards, other installment loans, home equity lines of credit, checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit of various types and maturities, trust services, safe deposit facilities, and Internet and mobile banking services. Further, it provides self-directed brokerage services; and small business administration lending and secondary market agricultural real estate mortgage loans; and bond transfer, stock transfer, and escrow services for corporate customers. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated 433 domestic branches. Zions Bancorporation was founded in 1873 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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