Assurant (NYSE: AIZ) and CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, earnings, risk and institutional ownership.
Risk & Volatility
Assurant has a beta of 0.55, indicating that its share price is 45% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, CNO Financial Group has a beta of 1.15, indicating that its share price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500.
Assurant pays an annual dividend of $2.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. CNO Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Assurant pays out 56.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. CNO Financial Group pays out 17.8% 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. Assurant has increased its dividend for 14 consecutive years and CNO Financial Group has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Assurant is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.
This is a breakdown of current ratings for Assurant and CNO Financial Group, as provided by MarketBeat.
||Strong Buy Ratings
|CNO Financial Group
Assurant presently has a consensus price target of $121.00, indicating a potential upside of 29.56%. CNO Financial Group has a consensus price target of $23.40, indicating a potential upside of 4.09%. Given Assurant’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Assurant is more favorable than CNO Financial Group.
Valuation & Earnings
This table compares Assurant and CNO Financial Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.
||Earnings Per Share
|CNO Financial Group
Assurant has higher revenue and earnings than CNO Financial Group. CNO Financial Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Assurant, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
This table compares Assurant and CNO Financial Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
||Return on Equity
||Return on Assets
|CNO Financial Group
Institutional and Insider Ownership
93.0% of Assurant shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.0% of CNO Financial Group shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Assurant shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.3% of CNO Financial Group shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.
Assurant beats CNO Financial Group on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.
Assurant Company Profile
Assurant, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides risk management solutions for housing and lifestyle markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. The company operates through three segments: Global Housing, Global Lifestyle, and Global Preneed. Its Global Housing segment provides lender-placed homeowners, manufactured housing, and flood insurance; renters insurance and related products; and mortgage solutions comprising property inspection and preservation, valuation and title, and other property risk management services. The Global Lifestyle segment offers mobile device protection products and related services, and extended service contracts for consumer electronics and appliances, as well as assistance services; vehicle protection services; and credit and other insurance services. Its Global Preneed segment provides pre-funded funeral insurance and annuity products. The company was formerly known as Fortis, Inc. and changed its name to Assurant, Inc. in February 2004. Assurant, Inc. was founded in 1892 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
CNO Financial Group Company Profile
CNO Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, and administers health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. It operates through Bankers Life, Washington National, Colonial Penn, and Long-Term Care in Run Off segments. The Bankers Life segment markets and distributes Medicare supplement insurance, interest-sensitive and traditional life insurance, fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance products; and Medicare advantage and prescription drug plan products through various distribution and marketing agreements. The Washington National segment markets and distributes supplemental health insurance, including specified disease, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance products; and life insurance at home and the worksite through independent marketing organizations and insurance agencies. The Colonial Penn segment primarily markets graded benefit and simplified issue life insurance directly to customers through television advertising, direct mail, the Internet, and telemarketing. The Long-Term Care in Run Off segment engages in the long-term care business. The company sells its products through career agents, independent producers, and direct marketing. CNO Financial Group, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.
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