American National Insurance (NASDAQ: ANAT) and Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HIG) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares American National Insurance and Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The)’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American National Insurance 5.95% 2.61% 0.50%
Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) 3.73% 9.13% 0.71%

Volatility & Risk

American National Insurance has a beta of 1.34, suggesting that its share price is 34% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) has a beta of 0.91, suggesting that its share price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

65.2% of American National Insurance shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.2% of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) shares are held by institutional investors. 23.5% of American National Insurance shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.5% of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares American National Insurance and Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The)’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American National Insurance $3.28 billion 0.98 $260.52 million $7.23 16.51
Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) $18.55 billion 1.09 $1.28 billion $1.79 31.11

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) has higher revenue and earnings than American National Insurance. American National Insurance is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

American National Insurance pays an annual dividend of $3.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. American National Insurance pays out 45.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) pays out 51.4% 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. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years. American National Insurance is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for American National Insurance and Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The), as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American National Insurance 0 0 0 0 N/A
Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) 0 4 6 0 2.60

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) has a consensus target price of $56.44, suggesting a potential upside of 1.37%. Given Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The)’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) is more favorable than American National Insurance.

Summary

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) beats American National Insurance on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

American National Insurance Company Profile

American National Insurance Company is engaged in life insurance, annuities, and property and casualty insurance. The Company also offers limited health insurance. Its family of companies includes six life insurance companies, eight property and casualty insurance companies, and various non-insurance subsidiaries. Its business segments include Life, which offers products, such as Whole Life, Term Life, Universal Life, Variable Universal Life and Credit Life Insurance; Annuity, including products, such as Deferred Annuity, Single Premium Immediate Annuity and Variable Annuity; Health, including, such as Medicare Supplement, Supplemental Insurance, Stop-Loss, Credit Disability and Medical Expense; Property and Casualty, which offers products, such as Personal Lines, Commercial Lines and Credit-Related Property Insurance products, and Corporate and Other, which consists of its invested assets that are not used to support insurance activities, and non-insurance subsidiaries.

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) Company Profile

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. is a holding company for insurance and financial services subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Commercial Lines, which provides workers’ compensation, property, automobile, marine, livestock, liability and umbrella coverages primarily throughout the United States; Personal Lines, which provides automobile, homeowners and personal umbrella coverages to individuals across the United States; Group Benefits, which provides group life, accident and disability coverage, and other products and services; Property & Casualty Other Operations, which includes certain property and casualty operations; Mutual Funds, which provides investment management, administration, product distribution and related services to investors; Talcott Resolution, which consists of the run-off of the Company’s the United States individual and institutional annuity, and Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) businesses, and Corporate.

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