Aegon (NYSE: AEG) and Symetra Financial (NYSE:SYA) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership and profitability.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Aegon and Symetra Financial’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aegon $37.25 billion 0.34 $483.58 million $0.99 6.27
Symetra Financial N/A N/A N/A $1.36 23.54

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

10.2% of Aegon shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Aegon and Symetra Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aegon 5.64% 6.60% 0.39%
Symetra Financial 3.63% 2.50% 0.23%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Aegon and Symetra Financial, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aegon 0 2 0 0 2.00
Symetra Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A

Aegon presently has a consensus price target of $4.60, suggesting a potential downside of 25.93%. Given Aegon’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Aegon is more favorable than Symetra Financial.

Dividends

Aegon pays an annual dividend of $0.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.0%. Symetra Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Aegon pays out 25.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Symetra Financial pays out 32.4% 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. Symetra Financial has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Aegon is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

Aegon beats Symetra Financial on 8 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Aegon 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.

Symetra Financial Company Profile

Symetra Financial Corporation is a financial services company in the life insurance industry. The Company’s products are distributed domestically in all states and the District of Columbia through benefits consultants, financial institutions, broker-dealers and independent agents and advisers. It has three divisions: Benefits Division, Retirement Division and Individual Life Division. The Company’s Benefits Division provides medical stop-loss insurance, group life and disability income (DI) insurance, and limited benefit medical insurance as its principal products. The Company’s Retirement Division provides products that help its customers prepare for retirement and includes the Deferred Annuities and Income Annuities segments. The Company’s Individual Life division sells life insurance products.

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