American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Security National Financial (NASDAQ:SNFCA) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

American Express pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Security National Financial does not pay a dividend. American Express pays out 23.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. American Express has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares American Express and Security National Financial’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Express $33.47 billion 2.59 $2.74 billion $5.87 17.14
Security National Financial $276.93 million 0.32 $14.11 million N/A N/A

American Express has higher revenue and earnings than Security National Financial.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for American Express and Security National Financial, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Express 1 13 12 0 2.42
Security National Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A

American Express currently has a consensus price target of $107.22, indicating a potential upside of 6.59%. Given American Express’ higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe American Express is more favorable than Security National Financial.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

85.0% of American Express shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 8.1% of Security National Financial shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of American Express shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 18.2% of Security National Financial shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

American Express has a beta of 1.13, suggesting that its stock price is 13% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Security National Financial has a beta of -0.29, suggesting that its stock price is 129% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares American Express and Security National Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Express 8.79% 28.41% 3.27%
Security National Financial 4.98% 9.80% 1.40%

Summary

American Express beats Security National Financial on 13 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About American Express

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. It operates through four segments: U.S. Consumer Services, International Consumer and Network Services, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant Services. The company's products and services include charge and credit card products, as well as other payment and financing products; network services; expense management products and services; travel-related services; and stored value/prepaid products. Its products and services also comprise merchant acquisition and processing, servicing and settlement, merchant financing, point-of-sale marketing, and information products and services for merchants; and fraud prevention services, as well as the design and operation of customer loyalty programs. The company sells its products and services to consumers, small businesses, mid-sized companies, and large corporations through online applications, direct mail, in-house teams, third-party vendors, and direct response advertising. American Express Company was founded in 1850 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

About Security National Financial

Security National Financial Corporation engages in life insurance, cemetery and mortuary, and mortgage loan businesses. The company's Life Insurance segment engages in selling and servicing life insurance, annuity products, and accident and health insurance. This segment offers various life insurance products, such as funeral plans and interest-sensitive life insurance; other traditional life, accident, and health insurance products; annuity products comprising single premium deferred annuities, flexible premium deferred annuities, and immediate annuities; and diver's accident policies, as well as cedes and assumes certain risks with various authorized unaffiliated reinsurers pursuant to reinsurance treaties. Its Cemetery and Mortuary segment operates eight mortuaries and five cemeteries in the state of Utah, and one cemetery in the state of California. This segment also markets plots, interment vaults, mausoleum crypts, markers, caskets, flowers, and other death care related products; and provides professional services of funeral directors, opening and closing of graves, use of chapels and viewing rooms, and use of automobiles and clothing. The company's Mortgage segment originates and underwrites residential and commercial loans for new construction, existing homes, and real estate projects primarily in Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Utah. It offers mortgage loan products to real estate brokers, independent mortgage loan originators, and investors. Security National Financial Corporation was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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