MetLife (NYSE: MET) and Aegon NV (NYSE:AEG) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares MetLife and Aegon NV’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MetLife 0.30% 8.51% 0.65%
Aegon NV 5.18% 6.73% 0.40%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for MetLife and Aegon NV, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MetLife 1 4 8 0 2.54
Aegon NV 0 5 1 0 2.17

MetLife currently has a consensus price target of $58.89, suggesting a potential upside of 12.95%. Aegon NV has a consensus price target of $4.80, suggesting a potential downside of 16.67%. Given MetLife’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe MetLife is more favorable than Aegon NV.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

74.3% of MetLife shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 10.6% of Aegon NV shares are held by institutional investors. 0.3% of MetLife shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares MetLife and Aegon NV’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MetLife $63.21 billion 0.88 $817.50 million $0.09 579.40
Aegon NV $63.92 billion 0.18 $3.21 billion $0.91 6.33

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

Dividends

MetLife pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Aegon NV pays an annual dividend of $0.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.3%. MetLife pays out 1,778.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Aegon NV pays out 27.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. MetLife has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years. Aegon NV is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Risk & Volatility

MetLife has a beta of 1.47, suggesting that its stock price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aegon NV has a beta of 1.35, suggesting that its stock price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

MetLife beats Aegon NV on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

MetLife Company Profile

MetLife, Inc. is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); MetLife Holdings, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses. Its Asia segment offers products, including life insurance; accident and health insurance, and retirement and savings products. Latin America offers products, including life insurance, and retirement and savings products. Life insurance includes universal, variable and term life products. EMEA offers products, including life insurance, accident and health insurance, retirement and savings products, and credit insurance.

Aegon NV Company Profile

Aegon N.V. (Aegon) is an international life insurance, pensions and asset management company. The Company’s segments include the Americas, which includes the United States, Mexico and Brazil; the Netherlands; the United Kingdom; Central & Eastern Europe; Spain & Portugal; Asia, and Aegon Asset Management. It offers protection against mortality, morbidity and longevity risks, including traditional and universal life. It offers products with mortality, morbidity, and longevity risks, including traditional and universal life; mortgages; annuity products, and banking products. It offers individual protection products, such as annuities, term insurance, income protection and international/offshore bonds. It has activities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. It offers life insurance marketed to high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong and Singapore. It also offers investment products covering third-party customers, insurance-linked solutions.

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