Head-to-Head: Peoples Financial Services (NASDAQ:PFIS) and Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI)

Peoples Financial Services (NASDAQ:PFIS – Get Rating) and Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI – Get Rating) are both small financial companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on their level of risk, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, dividends, earnings, and analyst recommendations.


Peoples Financial Services pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Northwest Bancshares pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.6%. Peoples Financial Services pays out 25.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Northwest Bancshares pays out 72.1% of its profits 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. Peoples Financial Services has increased its dividend for 6 straight years and Northwest Bancshares has increased its dividend for 13 straight years. Northwest Bancshares is clearly the better dividend stock because of its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of the latest ratings and price targets for Peoples Financial Services and Northwest Bancshares as reported by MarketBeat.com.

sell reviews keep ratings Buy reviews Strong buy recommendations rating score
People’s Financial Services 0 0 1 0 3.00
Northwest Bank Shares 1 3 0 0 1.75

Peoples Financial Services currently has a consensus price target of $57.00, which suggests a potential upside of 7.30%. Northwest Bancshares has a consensus price target of $13.01, suggesting a potential upside of 6.52%. Given Peoples Financial Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher potential upside, equity analysts clearly believe Peoples Financial Services is cheaper than Northwest Bancshares.


This table compares the net margins, return on equity, and return on assets of Peoples Financial Services and Northwest Bancshares.

net margins return on equity return on investment
People’s Financial Services 36.18% 10.38% 1.05%
Northwest Bank Shares 26.19% 9.12% 0.99%

Score & Rating

This table compares the revenue, earnings per share, and valuation of Peoples Financial Services and Northwest Bancshares.

gross receipts price/sales ratio net income earnings per share price-earnings ratio
People’s Financial Services $119.69 million 3.18 $43.52 million $6.05 8.78
Northwest Bank Shares $561.40 million 2.76 $154.32 million $1.11 11.00

Northwest Bancshares has higher revenues and profits than Peoples Financial Services. Peoples Financial Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings multiple than Northwest Bancshares, suggesting it’s the cheaper of the two stocks at the moment.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

29.3% of Peoples Financial Services shares are held by institutional investors. In comparison, 61.2% of Northwest Bancshares stock is held by institutional investors. Insiders own 3.3% of Peoples Financial Services shares. In comparison, 1.0% of Northwest Bancshares 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.

Volatility & Risk

Peoples Financial Services has a beta of 0.21, suggesting its stock price is 79% less volatile than the S&P 500. In comparison, Northwest Bancshares has a beta of 0.56, suggesting its stock price is 44% is less volatile than the S&P 500.


Peoples Financial Services beats Northwest Bancshares on 10 of the 17 factors comparing the two stocks.

About People’s Financial Services (get rating)

People’s Financial Services Corp. acts as the bank holding company for the Peoples Security Bank and Trust Company, which provides various commercial and retail banking services. The company accepts Money Market, NOW, Savings, Individual Pension Plans, Demand Deposits and Certificates of Deposit. It also offers residential real estate, automobiles, manufactured homes, personal and home equity loans; and commercial real estate, working capital, construction loans, small business administration and agricultural loans, and loans for equipment and other commercial needs and mineral rights. In addition, the company offers investment management, IRA trustees, estate management, home and life insurance trusts, executors, guardianship, custodial/IRA custodial and corporate trust services, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans. It also offers investment portfolio management, estate and corporate succession planning, pensions, insurance, retirement and tax planning, and education financing strategies; and securities and brokerage services and investor services. The Company also offers small business checking and money market accounts, online and telephone banking, business credit cards, merchant lines of credit, and financial auditing services; and remote deposit capture, automated clearing house transactions, cash management, automated teller machines, point of sale transactions, safe deposit boxes, overnight deposits, direct deposit and official check services. It serves business, non-profit, government, local and professional customers, as well as individual customers through 28 full-service community banking offices in Allegheny, Bucks, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lucerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Susquehanna Counties and Wyoming in Pennsylvania ; Middlesex County in New Jersey; and Broome County in New York. The company was founded in 1905 and is headquartered in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

About Northwest Bancshares (received rating)

Northwest Bancshares, Inc. functions as the holding company of Northwest Bank, a state-chartered thrift offering personal and commercial banking solutions. The Company accepts a variety of deposits including checks, savings deposits, money market deposits, term certificates and individual retirement accounts. It also offers lending products that include single- to four-family residential real estate loans and loans secured by residential and commercial multi-family real estate; commercial business loans; and consumer loans, including auto loans, sales financing loans, unsecured personal loans, credit card loans, and loans secured by deposit accounts. The company also offers investment management and trustee services. As of December 31, 2021, the Company operated 170 community banking locations in Pennsylvania, western New York, eastern Ohio and Indiana. Northwest Bancshares, Inc. was founded in 1896 and is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

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