Westwood Holdings Group (NYSE:WHG) and Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, profitability and valuation.

Volatility & Risk

Westwood Holdings Group has a beta of 1.35, meaning that its stock price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Virtus Investment Partners has a beta of 1.47, meaning that its stock price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Westwood Holdings Group and Virtus Investment Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Westwood Holdings Group 18.63% 16.45% 14.10%
Virtus Investment Partners 13.68% 19.85% 3.90%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Westwood Holdings Group and Virtus Investment Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Westwood Holdings Group 0 0 0 0 N/A
Virtus Investment Partners 0 3 2 0 2.40

Virtus Investment Partners has a consensus price target of $106.60, suggesting a potential upside of 12.32%. Given Virtus Investment Partners’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Virtus Investment Partners is more favorable than Westwood Holdings Group.

Dividends

Westwood Holdings Group pays an annual dividend of $2.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.8%. Virtus Investment Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Virtus Investment Partners pays out 17.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Westwood Holdings Group has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive years. Westwood Holdings Group is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Westwood Holdings Group and Virtus Investment Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Westwood Holdings Group $133.79 million 2.48 $19.98 million N/A N/A
Virtus Investment Partners $552.23 million 1.23 $75.52 million $12.26 7.74

Virtus Investment Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Westwood Holdings Group.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

65.2% of Westwood Holdings Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.1% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 9.0% of Westwood Holdings Group shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.8% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Westwood Holdings Group beats Virtus Investment Partners on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Westwood Holdings Group Company Profile

Westwood Holdings Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manages investment assets and provides services for its clients. The company operates in two segments, Advisory and Trust. The Advisory segment provides investment advisory services to corporate retirement plans, public retirement plans, endowments, foundations, individuals, and the Westwood Funds; and investment sub-advisory services to mutual funds, pooled investment vehicles, and its Trust segment. The Trust segment offers trust and custodial services; and participates in common trust funds that it sponsors to institutions and high net worth individuals. Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. was founded in 1983 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

Virtus Investment Partners Company Profile

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to individual and institutional clients. It launches separate client focused equity and fixed income portfolios. The firm launches equity, fixed income, and balanced mutual funds for its clients. It invests in the public equity, fixed income, and real estate markets. The firm also invests in exchange traded funds. It employs a multi manager approach for its products. The firm employs quantitative analysis to make its investments. It benchmarks the performance of its portfolios against the S&P 500 Index. The firm conducts in-house research to make its investments. Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. was founded in 1988 and is based in Hartford, Connecticut.

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