Finance Debt

C&F Financial (NASDAQ:CFFI) & Investar (NASDAQ:ISTR) Analysis

C&F Financial (NASDAQ: CFFIGet a rating) and Invest (NASDAQ: ISTRGet a rating) are both small cap finance companies, but which stock is superior? We’ll compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings and dividends.


C&F Financial pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. Investar pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. C&F Financial distributes 21.8% of its profits as a dividend. Investar pays 22.4% of its earnings as a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings over the next few years. C&F Financial has increased its dividend for 1 consecutive year and Investar has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive years. C&F Financial is clearly the best dividend-paying stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

27.6% of C&F Financial shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 56.7% of Investar shares are held by institutional investors. 6.4% of C&F Financial shares are held by insiders. By comparison, 10.3% of Investar’s shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership indicates that hedge funds, large fund managers, and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

C&F Financial has a beta of 0.43, which means its stock price is 57% less volatile than the S&P 500. In comparison, Investar has a beta of 0.46, which means its stock price is 54% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of the current ratings and price targets for C&F Financial and Investar, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sales Ratings Hold odds Buy reviews Strong buy odds Rating
C&F Financial 0 0 0 0 N / A
Invest 0 1 0 0 2.00

Investar has a consensus price target of $22.00, indicating a potential downside of 0.41%. Given Investor’s possible higher upside, analysts clearly believe that Investor is more favorable than C&F Financial.


This table compares the net margins, return on equity and return on assets of C&F Financial and Investor.

Net margins Return on equity return on assets
C&F Financial 20.40% 12.70% 1.13%
Invest 14.40% 3.54% 0.32%

Benefits and evaluation

This table compares revenue, earnings per share and valuation of C&F Financial and Investor.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net revenue Earnings per share Price/earnings ratio
C&F Financial $142.89 million 1.22 $28.67 million $7.33 6.77
Invest $107.58 million 2.06 $8.00 million $1.61 13.72

C&F Financial has higher revenues and profits than Investar. C&F Financial trades at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Investar, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


C&F Financial beats Investar on 8 out of 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About C&F Financial

(Get a rating)

C&F Financial Corporation operates as a bank holding company for Citizens and Farmers Bank which provides retail and business banking services. The Company’s retail banking offers various banking services, including checking accounts and savings deposit accounts, as well as business, real estate, development, mortgage, home equity and installment loans. It also provides ATMs, Internet and mobile banking, debit and credit cards, as well as safe deposit box rentals, notary public, wire transfer and other usual banking services. This segment offers its services through its main office in West Point, Virginia, as well as through 30 Virginia branches located 1 each in Albermarle, Goochland, Hanover, Middlesex, Powhatan, Stafford, York, Charlottesville, Hampton, Montross, Newport News, Richmond, Warsaw, and Williamsburg; 2 each in Cumberland, James City, King George and New Kent counties; and four each in Chesterfield and Henrico counties. The Company’s Mortgage Banking segment provides various residential mortgage loans; issues conventional mortgages, mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, and mortgages guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Veterans Administration; and ancillary mortgage origination services for residential appraisals, as well as various mortgage origination functions for third parties. It provides mortgage origination services through 11 offices in Virginia, 1 office in Maryland, and 2 offices in North Carolina, as well as through 1 each in South Carolina and West Virginia. The Company’s Consumer Finance segment offers auto loans through its offices in Richmond and Hampton, Virginia. It also offers brokerage and wealth management services; and insurance products. In addition, the Company provides securities and settlement agency and insurance services. C&F Financial Corporation was founded in 1927 and is headquartered in West Point, Virginia.

About Investar

(Get a rating)

Investar Holding Corporation operates as a bank holding company for Investar Bank which provides a range of commercial banking products to individuals and small and medium businesses in South Louisiana. The Company offers various deposit products and services, such as individual savings, checking, money market and retirement accounts, as well as various certificates of deposit; debit cards; and mobile banking. It also offers commercial real estate loans; commercial and industrial loans, including working capital lines of credit and equipment loans; loans for the construction of commercial projects and single-family and multi-family residential properties; one to four family residential real estate loans, such as second mortgages; consumer loans, such as secured and unsecured installment and installment loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, automobile loans, and loans for personal, family and household purposes. In addition, the Company offers cash management products, including remote deposit capture, virtual safe, e-statements, positive payment, ACH issue and wire transfer, cash swipe accounts. investment and internet banking services for businesses. In addition, it provides various other banking services, such as cashier’s checks, payroll and social security checks direct deposit, night deposit, mail banking, ATM, ATMs, merchant card and mobile wallet payment services. The company operates through a network of 24 full-service branches. Investar Holding Corporation was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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