Head-To-Head Review: Symetra Financial (NYSE:SYA) vs. AFLAC (AFL)

Symetra Financial (NYSE: SYA) and AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) are both financials companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, risk and profitability.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

65.6% of AFLAC shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.0% of AFLAC shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Symetra Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.44 per share. AFLAC pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Symetra Financial pays out 32.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. AFLAC pays out 26.1% 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. AFLAC has raised its dividend for 35 consecutive years. AFLAC is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Symetra Financial and AFLAC, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Symetra Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A
AFLAC 3 6 2 0 1.91

AFLAC has a consensus target price of $79.20, indicating a potential downside of 6.76%.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Symetra Financial and AFLAC’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Symetra Financial N/A N/A N/A $1.36 N/A
AFLAC $22.56 billion 1.48 $2.66 billion $6.90 12.31

AFLAC has higher revenue and earnings than Symetra Financial. Symetra Financial is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than AFLAC, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Symetra Financial and AFLAC’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Symetra Financial 3.63% 2.50% 0.23%
AFLAC 12.49% 12.87% 2.03%

Summary

AFLAC beats Symetra Financial on 11 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Symetra Financial

Symetra Financial Corporation is a financial services company in the life insurance industry. The Company’s products are distributed domestically in all states and the District of Columbia through benefits consultants, financial institutions, broker-dealers and independent agents and advisers. It has three divisions: Benefits Division, Retirement Division and Individual Life Division. The Company’s Benefits Division provides medical stop-loss insurance, group life and disability income (DI) insurance, and limited benefit medical insurance as its principal products. The Company’s Retirement Division provides products that help its customers prepare for retirement and includes the Deferred Annuities and Income Annuities segments. The Company’s Individual Life division sells life insurance products.

About AFLAC

Aflac Incorporated is a business holding company. The Company is involved in supplemental health and life insurance, which is marketed and administered through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac). The Company’s insurance business consists of two segments: Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. The Company designs the United States insurance products to provide supplemental coverage for people having medical or primary insurance coverage. Aflac U.S. offers accident coverage on both an individual and group basis. The Company offers cancer plans, critical illness plans, and critical care and recovery plans. The Company designs the United States insurance products to provide supplemental coverage for people having medical or primary insurance coverage. Aflac U.S. offers accident coverage on both an individual and group basis. The Company offers cancer plans, critical illness plans, and critical care and recovery plans.

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