Critical Comparison: Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST) vs. Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC)

Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC – Get Rating) and Business First Bancshares (NASDAQ:BFST – Get Rating) are small-cap financial companies, but which is the superior business? We’ll compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, and analyst recommendations.

Valuation and earnings

This table compares top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation for Bank of Marin Bancorp and Business First Bancshares.

Gross income Price/Sales Ratio Net income earnings per share rate of profit over price
Bank of Marin Bancorp $118.49 million 4.76 $33.23 million $2.72 12.94
Business First Bank Actions $206.22 million 2.86 $52.14 million $2.22 10.60

Business First Bancshares has higher revenues and profits than Bank of Marin Bancorp. Business First Bancshares is trading at a lower price-earnings ratio than Bank of Marin Bancorp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

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Bank of Marin Bancorp has a beta of 0.76, which suggests that its share price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500. By comparison, Business First Bancshares has a beta of 0.88, which suggests that the Its stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Cost effectiveness

This table compares the net margins, return on equity, and return on assets of Bank of Marin Bancorp and Business First Bancshares.

net margins Return on equity return on assets
Bank of Marin Bancorp 31.43% 10.69% 1.03%
Business First Bank Actions 20.85% 11.94% 0.99%


Bank of Marin Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Business First Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Bank of Marin Bancorp pays out 36.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Business First Bancshares pays out 21.6% 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 years to come. Bank of Marin Bancorp has increased its dividend for 17 consecutive years and Business First Bancshares has increased its dividend for 1 consecutive year. Bank of Marin Bancorp is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer history of dividend growth.

Institutional and internal ownership

54.3% of Bank of Marin Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 33.7% of the shares of Business First Bancshares are held by institutional investors. 4.7% of Bank of Marin Bancorp shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.0% of the shares of Business First Bancshares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large fund managers, hedge funds and endowments believe that a company will outperform the market in the long run.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Bank of Marin Bancorp and Business First Bancshares, as reported by

sale ratings retention ratings Buy ratings Strong buy ratings rating score
Bank of Marin Bancorp 0 1 0 0 2.00
Business First Bank Actions 0 0 two 0 3.00

Bank of Marin Bancorp currently has a consensus price target of $34.00, indicating a possible 3.41% downside. Business First Bancshares has a $29.00 consensus price target, indicating 23.25% upside potential. Given Business First Bancshares’ stronger consensus rating and its likely upside potential, analysts clearly believe Business First Bancshares is more favorable than Bank of Marin Bancorp.


Business First Bancshares outperforms Bank of Marin Bancorp on 9 of 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Bank of Marin Bancorp

(Get rating)

Bank of Marin Bancorp operates as a holding company for Bank of Marin providing a range of financial services primarily to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals, non-profit organizations and individuals in California, United States. Offers personal and business checking and savings accounts; and individual retirement, health savings, and demand market deposit accounts, as well as time certificates of deposit, certificate of deposit account registration, and insured cash scavenging services. The company also offers commercial, commercial and industrial and consumer real estate loans, as well as lines of credit for construction financing and home equity. In addition, it offers business and payroll services and cash management; Credit cards; fraud detection tools; and services of mobile deposit, remote deposit capture, automated clearing house, bank transfer and image lockbox. In addition, the company provides trust and wealth management services including personalized investment portfolio management, financial planning, trust administration, estate liquidation and custodial services, as well as 401(k) plan services; and ATMs, and telephone and digital banking services. It operates through 12 branches in Marin, southern Sonoma counties, and northern San Francisco, California; and a loan production office in San Francisco. The company was incorporated in 1989 and is headquartered in Novato, California.

About Business First Bancshares

(Get rating)

Business First Bancshares, Inc. operates as the banking holding company for b1BANK providing various banking products and services. It offers various deposit products and services, including checking, demand, money market, term and savings accounts; and certificates of deposit, remote deposit taking, and direct deposit services. The company also offers commercial and industrial loans, such as business lines of credit, letters of credit, working capital, term, equipment financing, asset acquisition, expansion and development, loan base and other loan products; construction and development loans; commercial real estate loans; residential real estate loans comprising 1-4 family first and second lien mortgages and home equity lines of credit; and consumer loans, including secured and unsecured term and installment loans. In addition, it offers wealth management products, including mutual funds, annuities, individual retirement accounts, and other financial products, as well as other trust services and private banking products and services. In addition, the company offers a range of other financial services including debit and credit cards, treasury and cash management, trading, automated clearing house, safe deposit box, accounts receivable factoring, correspondent banking and other treasury services, as well as employee benefits and payroll. solutions; and self-service banking facilities, ATMs, night deposits, personalized checks, electronic funds transfers, domestic and foreign wire transfers, traveler’s checks, vault, loan and deposit sweep accounts, online and mobile banking, electronic statements and banking services. mail services. As of March 1, 2022, it operates approximately 48 full-service banking centers and three loan origination offices in the Louisiana and Dallas and Houston markets. Business First Bancshares, Inc. was incorporated in 2006 and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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