Voya Financial (NYSE: VOYA) and CNO Financial Group (NYSE:CNO) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitabiliy, earnings and institutional ownership.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Voya Financial -7.64% 3.78% 0.26%
CNO Financial Group 9.16% 5.51% 0.77%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

94.4% of CNO Financial Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of Voya Financial shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of CNO Financial Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Voya Financial has a beta of 1.61, indicating that its stock price is 61% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, CNO Financial Group has a beta of 1.2, indicating that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Voya Financial and CNO Financial Group, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Voya Financial 1 1 8 0 2.70
CNO Financial Group 0 7 1 0 2.13

Voya Financial presently has a consensus target price of $45.89, suggesting a potential upside of 24.46%. CNO Financial Group has a consensus target price of $20.17, suggesting a potential downside of 5.23%. Given Voya Financial’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Voya Financial is more favorable than CNO Financial Group.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Voya Financial and CNO Financial Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Voya Financial $9.99 billion 0.69 -$486.40 million ($3.93) -9.38
CNO Financial Group $4.10 billion 0.89 $881.10 million $2.14 9.94

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

Dividends

Voya Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. CNO Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Voya Financial pays out -1.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. CNO Financial Group pays out 16.8% 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. Voya Financial has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Summary

CNO Financial Group beats Voya Financial on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Voya Financial Company Profile

Voya Financial, Inc. is a retirement, investment and insurance company. The Company operates through five segments: Retirement, Investment Management, Annuities, Individual Life and Employee Benefits. The Retirement segment is a provider of retirement services and products in the United States. The Investment Management segment offers domestic and international fixed income, equity, multi-asset and alternatives products and solutions. The Annuities segment provides fixed and indexed annuities, tax-qualified mutual fund custodial and other investment-only products and payout annuities for pre-retirement wealth accumulation and post-retirement income management sold through multiple channels. The Individual Life segment provides wealth protection and transfer opportunities through universal and variable products. The Employee Benefits segment provides stop loss, group life, voluntary employee-paid and disability products to mid-sized and large businesses.

CNO Financial Group Company Profile

CNO Financial Group, Inc. is a holding company for a group of insurance companies operating throughout the United States that develops, markets and administers health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products. The Company’s segments include Bankers Life, Washington National and Colonial Penn. It sells health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products through three primary distribution channels: career agents, independent producers and direct marketing. The Company offers products in various categories, including health, annuities and life insurance. The health products include Medicare supplement, long-term care, prescription drug plan and Medicare advantage, supplemental health products and other health products. The annuities products include fixed index annuities and other fixed interest annuities. The life insurance products include interest-sensitive life products and traditional life products.

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