Metlife (NYSE:MET) and FBL Financial Group (NYSE:FFG) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, institutional ownership, risk and earnings.

Dividends

Metlife pays an annual dividend of $1.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.5%. FBL Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.5%. Metlife pays out 30.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. FBL Financial Group pays out 42.1% 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. Metlife has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years and FBL Financial Group has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Metlife is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Metlife and FBL Financial Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Metlife $69.62 billion 0.43 $5.90 billion $6.11 5.46
FBL Financial Group $774.68 million 1.16 $126.21 million $4.75 7.71

Metlife has higher revenue and earnings than FBL Financial Group. Metlife is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than FBL Financial Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Metlife and FBL Financial Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Metlife 0 4 4 0 2.50
FBL Financial Group 0 1 1 0 2.50

Metlife presently has a consensus target price of $40.86, indicating a potential upside of 22.55%. Given Metlife’s higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Metlife is more favorable than FBL Financial Group.

Volatility & Risk

Metlife has a beta of 1.33, suggesting that its share price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, FBL Financial Group has a beta of 0.29, suggesting that its share price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Metlife and FBL Financial Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Metlife 12.37% 8.85% 0.81%
FBL Financial Group 12.69% 7.79% 1.08%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

74.0% of Metlife shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 29.2% of FBL Financial Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.3% of Metlife shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of FBL Financial Group shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Metlife beats FBL Financial Group on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Metlife

MetLife, Inc. engages in the insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and asset management businesses. It operates through five segments: U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and MetLife Holdings. The company offers life, dental, group short- and long-term disability, individual disability, accidental death and dismemberment, vision, and accident and health coverages, as well as prepaid legal plans; administrative services-only arrangements to employers; and stable value products, including general and separate account guaranteed interest contracts, and private floating rate funding agreements. It also provides pension risk transfers, institutional income annuities, tort settlements, and capital markets investment products; and other products and services, such as life insurance products and funding agreements for funding postretirement benefits, as well as company, bank, or trust-owned life insurance used to finance nonqualified benefit programs for executives. In addition, the company offers automobile, homeowners', and personal excess liability, as well as small business owners' property, liability, and business interruption insurance products. Further, it provides fixed annuities and pension products; medical and credit insurance products; variable, universal, term, endowment, and whole life insurance products; variable, and fixed and indexed-linked annuities; and protection against costs of long-term health care services. The company serves individuals, corporations and their employees, and other institutions and their members through independent agents, property and casualty specialists, sales forces, sales teams and relationship managers, and sponsoring organizations and affinity groups, as well as through career and independent agencies, bancassurance, direct marketing and e-commerce, brokers, and other third-party distribution channels. MetLife, Inc. was founded in 1863 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

About FBL Financial Group

FBL Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, sells individual life insurance and annuity products. The Annuity segment sells various traditional annuity products that primarily consist of fixed rate and indexed annuities, and supplementary contracts. The Life Insurance segment offers whole life, term life, and universal life policies. The company markets its products to Farm Bureau members, and other individuals and businesses through exclusive agents and agency managers principally under the consumer brand name of Farm Bureau Financial Services in the Midwestern and Western sections of the United States. FBL Financial Group, Inc. was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Receive News & Ratings for Metlife Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Metlife and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.