James River Group Holdings (NASDAQ: JRVR) and The Navigators Group (NASDAQ:NAVG) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings and risk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

92.7% of James River Group Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.9% of The Navigators Group shares are held by institutional investors. 41.0% of James River Group Holdings shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 24.1% of The Navigators Group shares are held 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 & Valuation

This table compares James River Group Holdings and The Navigators Group’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
James River Group Holdings $699.18 million 1.66 $97.44 million $2.65 14.81
The Navigators Group $1.24 billion 1.35 $135.66 million $2.83 20.07

The Navigators Group has higher revenue and earnings than James River Group Holdings. James River Group Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than The Navigators Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for James River Group Holdings and The Navigators Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
James River Group Holdings 0 1 2 0 2.67
The Navigators Group 0 5 0 0 2.00

James River Group Holdings currently has a consensus price target of $44.67, indicating a potential upside of 13.83%. The Navigators Group has a consensus price target of $56.75, indicating a potential downside of 0.09%. Given James River Group Holdings’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe James River Group Holdings is more favorable than The Navigators Group.

Risk & Volatility

James River Group Holdings has a beta of 0.56, indicating that its stock price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, The Navigators Group has a beta of 0.78, indicating that its stock price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

James River Group Holdings pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. The Navigators Group pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. James River Group Holdings pays out 45.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. The Navigators Group pays out 8.5% 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.

Profitability

This table compares James River Group Holdings and The Navigators Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
James River Group Holdings 11.45% 10.80% 3.21%
The Navigators Group 6.86% 6.53% 1.60%

Summary

James River Group Holdings beats The Navigators Group on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About James River Group Holdings

James River Group Holdings, Ltd. (JRG Holdings) is an insurance and reinsurance holding company. The Company operates through four segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Specialty Admitted Insurance, Casualty Reinsurance, and Corporate and Other. The Excess and Surplus Lines segment offers commercial excess and surplus lines liability and excess property insurance products. The Specialty Admitted Insurance segment offers workers’ compensation insurance coverage, as well as specialty admitted fronting and program business. The Casualty Reinsurance segment offers commercial liability and non-catastrophe property reinsurance to the United States insurance companies and to its the United States-based insurance subsidiaries. The Corporate and Other segment consists of certain management and treasury activities of James River Group, Inc., James River Group Holdings UK Limited and JRG Holdings. It owns six insurance companies focused on specialty insurance niches and a reinsurance company.

About The Navigators Group

The Navigators Group, Inc. is an insurance holding company. The Company is an international insurance company focused on marine insurance. The Company’s segments include U.S. Insurance, International Insurance (Int’l Insurance), Global Reinsurance (GlobalRe) and Corporate. The Company’s Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance business primarily offers general liability coverage, and umbrella and excess liability coverage to commercial enterprises through its U.S. Insurance and Int’l Insurance segments. It also offers reinsurance products through its GlobalRe segment. It distributes its products through international, national and regional, retail and wholesale insurance brokers. The Company’s U.S. Insurance and Int’l Insurance segments consists of three segments, such as Marine, Property and Casualty (P&C) and Professional Liability. Its GlobalRe products include accident & health (A&H), marine, P&C and professional liability.

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