StanCorp Financial Group (NYSE: SFG) and Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) are both mid-cap financials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends and profitabiliy.

Dividends

Prudential Financial pays an annual dividend of $3.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. StanCorp Financial Group does not pay a dividend. Prudential Financial pays out 30.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. StanCorp Financial Group has increased its dividend for 15 consecutive years and Prudential Financial has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive years.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
StanCorp Financial Group 5.20% 6.92% 0.67%
Prudential Financial 7.78% 8.52% 0.55%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares StanCorp Financial Group and Prudential Financial’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
StanCorp Financial Group N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Prudential Financial $59.92 billion 0.81 $7.75 billion $9.85 11.49

Prudential Financial has higher revenue and earnings than StanCorp Financial Group.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for StanCorp Financial Group and Prudential Financial, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
StanCorp Financial Group 0 0 0 0 N/A
Prudential Financial 0 7 6 0 2.46

Prudential Financial has a consensus target price of $111.18, indicating a potential downside of 1.78%. Given Prudential Financial’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Prudential Financial is more favorable than StanCorp Financial Group.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

63.4% of Prudential Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Prudential Financial shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Prudential Financial beats StanCorp Financial Group on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About StanCorp Financial Group

Stancorp Financial Group, Inc. is a holding company and conducts business through its operating subsidiaries across the United States. The Company collectively views and operates its businesses as Insurance Services and Asset Management. Insurance Services consists of the Company’s Employee Benefits and Individual Disability segments offers group and individual disability insurance, group life and AD&D insurance, group and individual disability insurance, group dental and group vision insurance, and absence management services. The Company’s asset management segment offers 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, 457 plans, defined benefit plans, money purchase pension plans, profit sharing plans and non-qualified deferred compensation products and services. Through its subsidiaries, the Company has the authority to underwrite insurance products in approximately 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the United States territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc., is a financial services company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, offers a range of financial products and services, which includes life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. The Company’s operations consists of four divisions, which together encompass seven segments. The U.S. Retirement Solutions and Investment Management division consists of Individual Annuities, Retirement and Asset Management segments. The U.S. Individual Life and Group Insurance division consists of Individual Life and Group Insurance segments. The International Insurance division consists of International Insurance segment. The Closed Block division consists of Closed Block segment. The Company has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

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