The Ensign Group (NASDAQ: ENSG) and Vanguard Health Systems (NYSE:VHS) are both medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, earnings, risk and institutional ownership.


This table compares The Ensign Group and Vanguard Health Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
The Ensign Group 2.65% 13.15% 6.04%
Vanguard Health Systems N/A N/A N/A

Institutional and Insider Ownership

84.7% of The Ensign Group shares are held by institutional investors. 6.2% of The Ensign Group shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares The Ensign Group and Vanguard Health Systems’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
The Ensign Group $1.65 billion 0.74 $49.99 million $0.90 26.48
Vanguard Health Systems N/A N/A N/A $0.75 N/A

The Ensign Group has higher revenue and earnings than Vanguard Health Systems. Vanguard Health Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than The Ensign Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for The Ensign Group and Vanguard Health Systems, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
The Ensign Group 2 0 3 0 2.20
Vanguard Health Systems 0 0 0 0 N/A

The Ensign Group presently has a consensus price target of $24.50, indicating a potential upside of 2.81%.


The Ensign Group pays an annual dividend of $0.17 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Vanguard Health Systems does not pay a dividend. The Ensign Group pays out 18.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.


The Ensign Group beats Vanguard Health Systems on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

The Ensign Group Company Profile

The Ensign Group, Inc., through its operating subsidiaries, provides healthcare services across the post-acute care continuum, as well as other ancillary businesses located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. The Company’s subsidiaries provide skilled nursing, assisted living, home health and hospice, and other ancillary services. Its segments include transitional and skilled services segment, which includes the operation of skilled nursing facilities; assisted and independent living services segment, which includes the operation of assisted and independent living facilities; home health and hospice services segment, which includes its home health, home care and hospice businesses, and all other segment, which includes mobile diagnostics and other ancillary operations. As of July10, 2017, it operated in 226 healthcare facilities.

Vanguard Health Systems Company Profile

Vanguard Health Systems, Inc. (Vanguard) is an operator of healthcare delivery networks with presence in various urban and suburban markets. As of June 30, 2012, the Company had 28 acute care and specialty hospitals with 7,064 beds with outpatient facilities and related businesses, which allow it to provide a range of inpatient and outpatient services in the communities it serves. The Company’s general acute care and specialty hospitals offer a variety of medical and surgical services, including emergency services, general surgery, internal medicine, cardiology, obstetrics, orthopedics and neurology, as well as tertiary services such as open-heart surgery, advanced neurosurgery, level II and III neonatal intensive care and level 1 trauma at certain facilities. In October 2013, Tenet Healthcare Corporation completed its acquisition of Vanguard Health Systems, Inc.

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