Carolina Trust Bancshares (NASDAQ:CART) and Franklin Financial Services (OTCMKTS:FRAF) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Carolina Trust Bancshares and Franklin Financial Services, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Carolina Trust Bancshares 0 0 0 0 N/A
Franklin Financial Services 0 0 0 0 N/A

Profitability

This table compares Carolina Trust Bancshares and Franklin Financial Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Carolina Trust Bancshares 15.35% 8.30% 0.92%
Franklin Financial Services 9.93% 5.12% 0.49%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

34.6% of Carolina Trust Bancshares shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 5.4% of Franklin Financial Services shares are held by institutional investors. 4.0% of Carolina Trust Bancshares shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.4% of Franklin Financial Services shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Carolina Trust Bancshares has a beta of 0.5, meaning that its stock price is 50% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Franklin Financial Services has a beta of 0.57, meaning that its stock price is 43% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Carolina Trust Bancshares and Franklin Financial Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Carolina Trust Bancshares $22.34 million 5.44 $2.95 million N/A N/A
Franklin Financial Services $57.50 million 2.86 $6.13 million N/A N/A

Franklin Financial Services has higher revenue and earnings than Carolina Trust Bancshares.

About Carolina Trust Bancshares

Carolina Trust BancShares, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Carolina Trust Bank, a state chartered bank that provides commercial banking products and services for individuals and businesses. It offers checking and savings accounts, and certificates of deposit; commercial, installment, mortgage, and personal loans; safe deposit boxes; and other associated services. As of December 31, 2018, the company served its customers through a network of automated teller machines and nine full-service offices located in Lincolnton, Denver, Forest City, Gastonia, Hickory, Lake Lure, Mooresville, and Vale, North Carolina, as well as operated a loan production office in Salisbury, North Carolina. Carolina Trust BancShares, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

About Franklin Financial Services

Franklin Financial Services Corporation offers banking products and services. The company offers demand deposits and interest and non-interest bearing time and savings deposits. The company's deposits include jumbo deposits and retail time deposits. It provides commercial and industrial loans, consumer loans, commercial real estate loans, and other loans and leases. The company offers consumer loans, including credit card loans, revolving credit plans, and automotive loans. The bank offers commercial real estate loans for land development and on-site construction of industrial, commercial, residential, or farm buildings in the United States; real estate-backed residential loans; and commercial loans collateralized by real estate properties. It offers domestic and foreign commercial and industrial loans. The company offers loans for the purpose of financing agricultural production; loans which include planned and unplanned overdrafts, to governments in non-U.S. countries, to their official institutions, and to international and regional institutions. Franklin Financial Services Corporation was founded in 1906 and is based in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

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