National Western Life Group (NASDAQ: NWLI) and Emergent Capital (NYSE:IFT) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, profitability, risk, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for National Western Life Group and Emergent Capital, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National Western Life Group 0 0 0 0 N/A
Emergent Capital 0 0 0 0 N/A

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares National Western Life Group and Emergent Capital’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
National Western Life Group $788.97 million 1.55 $171.25 million $30.07 11.86
Emergent Capital N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

National Western Life Group has higher revenue and earnings than Emergent Capital.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

79.0% of National Western Life Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of National Western Life Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares National Western Life Group and Emergent Capital’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National Western Life Group 13.10% 5.33% 0.78%
Emergent Capital -187.06% -15.14% -4.53%

Dividends

National Western Life Group pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. Emergent Capital does not pay a dividend. National Western Life Group pays out 1.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

National Western Life Group beats Emergent Capital on 7 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

National Western Life Group Company Profile

National Western Life Insurance Company (National Western) is a stock life insurance company. The Company operates in two segments: Domestic Insurance Operations and International Insurance Operations. The products marketed under domestic insurance operations are annuities, universal life insurance and traditional life insurance, which include both term and whole life products. National Western’s international operations focus on foreign nationals in upper socioeconomic classes. The Company provides life insurance products for the savings and protection needs of approximately 126,700 policyholders and for the asset accumulation and retirement needs of 139,100 annuity contract holders. National Western offers a portfolio of individual whole life, universal life and term insurance plans, and annuities, including supplementary riders.

Emergent Capital Company Profile

Emergent Capital, Inc., formerly Imperial Holdings, Inc., is a specialty finance company that invests in asset classes, primarily life settlements. The Company, through its subsidiary companies, owns a portfolio of approximately 630 life insurance policies (life settlements). The Company purchases individual policies and portfolios of life insurance policies and manages those assets based on actuarial and market data. The Company provides customized liquidity solutions to owners of illiquid financial assets in two markets, which include life finance and structured settlements. The Company focuses on lending to outright purchases of portfolios, to tertiary trades, as well as individual secondary market purchases. The Company invests in short and long-term life settlement investments.

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