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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for The Blackstone Group L.P. and Virtus Investment Partners, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
The Blackstone Group L.P. 0 1 8 0 2.89
Virtus Investment Partners 1 3 0 0 1.75

The Blackstone Group L.P. presently has a consensus price target of $37.78, indicating a potential upside of 18.28%. Virtus Investment Partners has a consensus price target of $121.00, indicating a potential upside of 15.79%. Given The Blackstone Group L.P.’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe The Blackstone Group L.P. is more favorable than Virtus Investment Partners.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

46.6% of The Blackstone Group L.P. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.9% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of The Blackstone Group L.P. shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.0% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

The Blackstone Group L.P. has a beta of 1.32, indicating that its share price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Virtus Investment Partners has a beta of 1.72, indicating that its share price is 72% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

The Blackstone Group L.P. pays an annual dividend of $2.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.8%. Virtus Investment Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. The Blackstone Group L.P. pays out 97.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Virtus Investment Partners pays out 35.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Virtus Investment Partners has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares The Blackstone Group L.P. and Virtus Investment Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
The Blackstone Group L.P. 22.88% 18.97% 8.76%
Virtus Investment Partners 12.13% 11.35% 3.84%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares The Blackstone Group L.P. and Virtus Investment Partners’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
The Blackstone Group L.P. $6.33 billion 3.27 $1.44 billion $2.22 14.39
Virtus Investment Partners $336.08 million 2.24 $73.41 million $5.14 20.33

The Blackstone Group L.P. has higher revenue and earnings than Virtus Investment Partners. The Blackstone Group 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.

Summary

The Blackstone Group L.P. beats Virtus Investment Partners on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About The Blackstone Group L.P.

The Blackstone Group L.P. is a global alternative asset manager. The Company’s alternative asset management businesses include investment vehicles focused on private equity, non-investment grade credit, secondary private equity funds of funds and multi-asset class strategies. It operates through four segments: Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Fund Solutions and Credit. The Private Equity segment includes its corporate private equity business, which consists of its corporate private equity funds, Blackstone Capital Partners (BCP) funds, its sector-focused corporate private equity funds, including its energy-focused funds, Blackstone Energy Partners (BEP) funds and its core private equity fund. The Blackstone Real Estate Partners funds target a range of opportunistic real estate and real estate related investments. The Hedge Fund Solutions segment consists of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM). The Credit segment consists principally of GSO Capital Partners LP (GSO).

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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