SEI Investments (SEIC) versus Merriman (MERR) Critical Comparison

SEI Investments (NASDAQ:SEIC) and Merriman (OTCMKTS:MERR) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation and risk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

69.5% of SEI Investments shares are owned by institutional investors. 16.5% of SEI Investments shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 63.0% of Merriman shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for SEI Investments and Merriman, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SEI Investments 0 1 4 0 2.80
Merriman 0 0 0 0 N/A

SEI Investments presently has a consensus target price of $77.25, indicating a potential upside of 41.04%. Given SEI Investments’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe SEI Investments is more favorable than Merriman.

Risk & Volatility

SEI Investments has a beta of 1.2, suggesting that its share price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Merriman has a beta of 2.97, suggesting that its share price is 197% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares SEI Investments and Merriman’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SEI Investments 31.46% 30.73% 25.60%
Merriman N/A N/A N/A

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares SEI Investments and Merriman’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SEI Investments $1.53 billion 5.58 $404.38 million $2.32 23.61
Merriman N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

SEI Investments has higher revenue and earnings than Merriman.

Dividends

SEI Investments pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Merriman does not pay a dividend. SEI Investments pays out 25.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. SEI Investments has raised its dividend for 8 consecutive years.

Summary

SEI Investments beats Merriman on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

SEI Investments Company Profile

SEI Investments Co. is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides wealth management, retirement and investment solutions, asset management, asset administration, investment processing outsourcing solutions, financial services, and investment advisory services to its clients. It provides its services to private banks, independent financial advisers, institutional investors, investment managers, investment advisors, wealth management organizations, corporations, retirement scheme sponsors, not-for-profit organizations, hedge fund managers, registered investment advisers, independent broker-dealers, financial planners, life insurance agents, defined-benefit schemes, defined-contribution schemes, endowments, foundations, and board-designated fund, through its subsidiaries. Through its subsidiaries, the firm manages separate client-focused portfolios. It also launches and manages equity, fixed income, and balanced mutual funds, through its subsidiaries. Through its subsidiaries, the firm invests in public equity and fixed income markets. It employs fundamental and quantitative analysis with a focus on top-down and bottom-up analysis to make its investments, through its subsidiaries. SEI Investments Co. was founded in 1968 and is based in Oaks, Pennsylvania.

Merriman Company Profile

Merriman Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary, Merriman Capital, Inc., provides capital market advisory and research, corporate, and investment banking services primarily in the United States and Canada. The company's investment banking services include corporate financing services, such as initial public offerings, secondary offerings, and private placements services; and strategic advisory services comprise transaction-specific advice regarding mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, and privatizations, as well as general strategic advice. It also offers institutional brokerage services, including institutional sales trading and equity execution, and options execution services to institutional clients. In addition, the company executes securities transactions for money managers, mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, and pension and profit-sharing plans; and provides integrated research and trading solutions, as well as capital markets advisory services. It primarily serves institutional investors and corporate clients. The company was formerly known as Merriman Curhan Ford Group, Inc. and changed its name to Merriman Holdings, Inc. in August 2010. Merriman Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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