SLM (NASDAQ: SLM) and Enova International (NYSE:ENVA) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, risk, dividends, earnings and institutional ownership.

Risk and Volatility

SLM has a beta of 1.32, suggesting that its stock price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Enova International has a beta of 3.5, suggesting that its stock price is 250% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares SLM and Enova International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SLM 22.95% 16.63% 1.62%
Enova International 3.87% 14.85% 3.80%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for SLM and Enova International, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SLM 1 1 6 0 2.63
Enova International 0 1 3 0 2.75

SLM presently has a consensus target price of $13.50, indicating a potential upside of 28.69%. Enova International has a consensus target price of $16.67, indicating a potential upside of 15.74%. Given SLM’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe SLM is more favorable than Enova International.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares SLM and Enova International’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SLM $1.15 billion 3.95 $250.32 million $0.67 15.66
Enova International $745.57 million 0.65 $34.60 million $0.92 15.65

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

96.8% of SLM shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.3% of Enova International shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of SLM shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Enova International shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

SLM beats Enova International on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

SLM Company Profile

SLM Corporation (Sallie Mae) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Sallie Mae offers products, which promote personal finance including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, insurance, and online retail banking.

Enova International Company Profile

Enova International, Inc. is a technology and analytics company. The Company provides online financial services. As of December 31, 2016, the Company offered or arranged loans to consumers in 33 states in the United States and in the United Kingdom and Brazil. As of December 31, 2016, it also offered financing to small businesses in all 50 states and Washington D.C. in the United States. The Company provides online financial services to non-prime credit consumers and small businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, and Brazil. Its customers include small businesses, which have bank accounts but use alternative financial services because of their limited access to more traditional credit from banks, credit card companies and other lenders. The Company’s financing products include short-term loans, line of credit accounts, installment loans and receivables purchase agreements (RPAs).

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