First of Long Island (NASDAQ:FLIC) and Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, dividends and institutional ownership.

Dividends

First of Long Island pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.4%. Sandy Spring Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.8%. First of Long Island pays out 41.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Sandy Spring Bancorp pays out 36.6% 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. First of Long Island has increased its dividend for 13 consecutive years and Sandy Spring Bancorp has increased its dividend for 9 consecutive years. Sandy Spring Bancorp is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Volatility & Risk

First of Long Island has a beta of 0.5, suggesting that its stock price is 50% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sandy Spring Bancorp has a beta of 1.09, suggesting that its stock price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for First of Long Island and Sandy Spring Bancorp, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
First of Long Island 0 0 1 0 3.00
Sandy Spring Bancorp 0 1 3 0 2.75

First of Long Island presently has a consensus price target of $19.00, suggesting a potential upside of 16.28%. Sandy Spring Bancorp has a consensus price target of $33.00, suggesting a potential upside of 33.17%. Given Sandy Spring Bancorp’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Sandy Spring Bancorp is more favorable than First of Long Island.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

56.6% of First of Long Island shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 56.5% of Sandy Spring Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 5.4% of First of Long Island shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.2% of Sandy Spring Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares First of Long Island and Sandy Spring Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
First of Long Island 25.99% 10.84% 1.01%
Sandy Spring Bancorp 23.10% 8.59% 1.13%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares First of Long Island and Sandy Spring Bancorp’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
First of Long Island $154.46 million 2.52 $41.56 million $1.75 9.34
Sandy Spring Bancorp $419.19 million 2.78 $116.43 million $3.28 7.55

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

Summary

Sandy Spring Bancorp beats First of Long Island on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

First of Long Island Company Profile

The First of Long Island Corporation operates as the holding company for The First National Bank of Long Island that provides financial services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals, consumers, public bodies, and other organizations. Its deposit products include business and small business checking, personal checking products, savings accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal accounts and IOLA, escrow service accounts, rent security accounts, time deposits, holiday club accounts, and individual retirement accounts, as well as money market products. The company's loan portfolio comprises commercial and industrial loans, small business credit scored loans, residential and commercial mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, construction loans, and commercial and standby letters of credit, as well as auto, home improvement, and other consumer loans. It also offers account reconciliation services, ACH origination, ATM banking and deposit automation, bank by mail, bill payment, cash management services, collection services, controlled disbursement accounts, foreign currency sales and purchases, healthcare remittance automation, debit cards, lock box services, merchant credit card services, and mobile capture services, as well as mutual funds, annuities, and life insurance. In addition, the company provides night depository services, payroll services, personal money orders, remote deposit, safe deposit boxes, securities transactions, signature guarantee services, travelers checks, investment management and trust services, domestic and international wire transfers, and withholding tax depository services, as well as drive-through, mobile, online, and telephone banking services. It operates through a network of 51 branches, including 6 full-service branches in Queens, 3 in Brooklyn, and 2 commercial banking offices in Manhattan. The First of Long Island Corporation was founded in 1927 and is headquartered in Glen Head, New York.

Sandy Spring Bancorp Company Profile

Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Sandy Spring Bank that provides commercial banking services to individuals and businesses in central Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. The company operates in three segments: Community Banking, Insurance, and Investment Management. The Community Banking segment provides financial products and services, including various loan and deposit products to individuals and businesses. This segment accepts deposits, such as demand, money market savings, regular savings, and time deposits. Its loan products include residential real estate loans; commercial real estate loans, commercial construction loans, and other commercial loans; and consumer loans comprising home equity loans and lines, installment loans, and personal lines of credit. The Insurance segment provides general insurance agency services and annuities. The Investment Management segment provides comprehensive investment management and financial planning to individuals, families, small businesses, and associations, including cash flow analysis, investment review, tax and retirement planning, insurance analysis, and estate planning. The company also provides mortgage banking, equipment leasing, personal trust, and wealth management services. As of December 31, 2018, it operated 55 community offices and 6 financial centers. Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. was founded in 1868 and is headquartered in Olney, Maryland.

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