Old Republic International Corporation (NYSE: ORI) and Argo Group International Holdings (NASDAQ:AGII) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Old Republic International Corporation and Argo Group International Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Old Republic International Corporation 0 0 0 0 N/A
Argo Group International Holdings 1 1 0 0 1.50

Argo Group International Holdings has a consensus price target of $70.00, indicating a potential upside of 14.57%. Given Argo Group International Holdings’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Argo Group International Holdings is more favorable than Old Republic International Corporation.

Volatility and Risk

Old Republic International Corporation has a beta of 1.31, meaning that its share price is 31% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Argo Group International Holdings has a beta of 0.82, meaning that its share price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Old Republic International Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.9%. Argo Group International Holdings pays an annual dividend of $1.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Old Republic International Corporation pays out 47.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Argo Group International Holdings pays out 19.5% 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. Old Republic International Corporation has increased its dividend for 35 consecutive years. Old Republic International Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Old Republic International Corporation and Argo Group International Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Old Republic International Corporation 7.64% 9.41% 2.26%
Argo Group International Holdings 10.04% 6.39% 1.52%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

71.2% of Old Republic International Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.5% of Argo Group International Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.3% of Old Republic International Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.9% of Argo Group International Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Old Republic International Corporation and Argo Group International Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Old Republic International Corporation $5.99 billion 0.85 $758.60 million $1.59 12.26
Argo Group International Holdings $1.69 billion 1.09 $244.20 million $5.54 11.03

Old Republic International Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Argo Group International Holdings. Argo Group International Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Old Republic International Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Argo Group International Holdings beats Old Republic International Corporation on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Old Republic International Corporation Company Profile

Old Republic International Corporation is a holding company. The Company is engaged in business of insurance underwriting and related services. The Company conducts its operations through various regulated insurance company subsidiaries, which are organized into three segments: General Insurance Group, Title Insurance Group and the Republic Financial Indemnity Group (RFIG) Run-off Business. The Company’s General Insurance segment consists of property and liability insurance, and offers coverages to businesses, government and other institutions. The Company’s Title Insurance Group business consists of the issuance of policies to real estate purchasers and investors based upon searches of the public records, which contain information concerning interests in real property. The Company’s RFIG run-off business consists of its mortgage guaranty and consumer credit indemnity (CCI) operations.

Argo Group International Holdings Company Profile

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. is an underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. The Company operates through four segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, International Specialty and Syndicate 1200. Excess and Surplus Lines segment carriers focus on risks that the standard (admitted) market is unwilling or unable to underwrite. The Excess and Surplus Lines segment consists of two operating platforms: Colony Specialty and Argo Pro. Commercial Specialty segment provides property, casualty and surety coverages designed to meet the insurance needs of businesses within certain markets. International Specialty segment underwrites insurance and reinsurance risks. It operate as Argo Re, the Casualty and Professional Lines unit of Argo Insurance in Bermuda, and Argo Seguros Brazil, S.A. in Brazil. The Syndicate 1200 segment underwrites around the world property, specialty and non-United States liability insurance.

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