KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR) and Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and risk.

Dividends

KKR & Co. L.P. pays an annual dividend of $0.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Virtus Investment Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. KKR & Co. L.P. pays out 28.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Virtus Investment Partners pays out 35.0% 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. KKR & Co. L.P. is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

65.2% of KKR & Co. L.P. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.9% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.0% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares KKR & Co. L.P. and Virtus Investment Partners’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
KKR & Co. L.P. $5.31 billion 1.80 $1.13 billion $2.41 8.42
Virtus Investment Partners $336.08 million 2.59 $73.41 million $5.14 23.43

KKR & Co. L.P. has higher revenue and earnings than Virtus Investment Partners. KKR & Co. L.P. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Virtus Investment Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

KKR & Co. L.P. has a beta of 1.53, meaning that its share price is 53% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Virtus Investment Partners has a beta of 1.76, meaning that its share price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares KKR & Co. L.P. and Virtus Investment Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
KKR & Co. L.P. 42.48% 11.45% 4.79%
Virtus Investment Partners 12.13% 11.35% 3.84%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for KKR & Co. L.P. and Virtus Investment Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
KKR & Co. L.P. 0 3 6 0 2.67
Virtus Investment Partners 1 4 0 0 1.80

KKR & Co. L.P. presently has a consensus price target of $21.44, suggesting a potential upside of 5.64%. Virtus Investment Partners has a consensus price target of $122.00, suggesting a potential upside of 1.29%. Given KKR & Co. L.P.’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe KKR & Co. L.P. is more favorable than Virtus Investment Partners.

Summary

KKR & Co. L.P. beats Virtus Investment Partners on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About KKR & Co. L.P.

KKR & CO. L.P. (KKR) is a global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. The Company’s business offers a range of investment management services to its fund investors, and provides capital markets services to its firm, its portfolio companies and third parties. The Company conducts its business with offices across the world, providing it with a global platform for sourcing transactions, raising capital and carrying out capital markets activities. The Company operates through four segments: Private Markets, Public Markets, Capital Markets and Principal Activities. It operates and reports its combined credit and hedge funds businesses through the Public Markets segment. The Capital Markets segment consists primarily of its global capital markets business. Through its Principal Activities segment, the Company manages the firm’s assets and deploys capital.

About Virtus Investment Partners

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (Virtus) is a provider of investment management and related services to individuals and institutions. The Company provides its products in various forms and through multiple distribution channels. Its retail products include open-end mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange traded funds, variable insurance funds, undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities (UCITS) and separately managed accounts. Its open-end mutual funds are distributed through intermediaries. Its closed-end funds trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Its variable insurance funds are available as investment options in variable annuities and life insurance products distributed by life insurance companies. Separately managed accounts consists of intermediary programs, sponsored and distributed by unaffiliated brokerage firms, and private client accounts, which are offered to the high net-worth clients of its affiliated managers.

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