PICO Holdings (NASDAQ: PICO) and Beazer Homes USA (NYSE:BZH) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, profitabiliy and dividends.

Risk and Volatility

PICO Holdings has a beta of 1.25, meaning that its share price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Beazer Homes USA has a beta of 2.79, meaning that its share price is 179% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares PICO Holdings and Beazer Homes USA’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PICO Holdings $383.39 million 1.02 -$181,999.00 ($0.46) -36.96
Beazer Homes USA $1.86 billion 0.23 $57.50 million ($0.12) -111.82

Beazer Homes USA has higher revenue and earnings than PICO Holdings. Beazer Homes USA is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than PICO Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

63.3% of PICO Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 81.5% of Beazer Homes USA shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.7% of PICO Holdings shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 7.6% of Beazer Homes USA shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares PICO Holdings and Beazer Homes USA’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PICO Holdings -3.26% -1.79% -1.14%
Beazer Homes USA -0.22% 4.08% 1.18%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for PICO Holdings and Beazer Homes USA, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PICO Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A
Beazer Homes USA 1 3 1 0 2.00

Beazer Homes USA has a consensus target price of $13.17, indicating a potential downside of 1.89%. Given Beazer Homes USA’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Beazer Homes USA is more favorable than PICO Holdings.


Beazer Homes USA beats PICO Holdings on 11 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

PICO Holdings Company Profile

PICO Holdings, Inc. (PICO) is a holding company. The Company’s segments include Water Resource and Water Storage Operations; Real Estate Operations, and Corporate. Its subsidiary, Vidler Water Company, Inc. (Vidler), owns water resources and water storage operations in the southwestern United States, with assets and operations in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. The Real Estate Operations are conducted through UCP, Inc. (UCP), which is a homebuilder and land developer in markets located in California, Washington State, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Corporate segment includes its investments in small businesses, typically venture capital-type situations. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned a membership interest in, and was the managing partner of, Fish Springs Ranch, LLC (FSR), which owned the Fish Springs Ranch and other properties totaling approximately 7,313 acres in Honey Lake Valley in Washoe County, approximately 40 miles north of Reno, Nevada.

Beazer Homes USA Company Profile

Beazer Homes USA, Inc. is a geographically diversified homebuilder. As of September 30, 2016, the Company had operations in 13 states within over three geographic regions in the United States. The Company’s segments include West, East and Southeast. The Company markets and sells its products through its Website, www.beazer.com; mobile site, m.beazer.com; real estate listing sites, online advertising, including search engine marketing and display advertising, social media, video, brochures, direct marketing and out-of-home advertising, including billboards and signage, as well as other activities. It offers lender choice and personalization. The Company’s Choice Plans allows buyers to choose living areas, such as the kitchen and master bathroom. Its West segment includes Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas. Its East segment includes Indiana, Maryland/Delaware, Tennessee and Virginia. Its Southeast segment includes Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

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