AMERISAFE (NASDAQ: AMSF) and Emergent Capital (NYSE:IFT) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, dividends and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares AMERISAFE and Emergent Capital’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
AMERISAFE 17.17% 14.04% 4.32%
Emergent Capital -187.06% -15.14% -4.53%

Dividends

AMERISAFE pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Emergent Capital does not pay a dividend. AMERISAFE pays out 23.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

99.5% of AMERISAFE shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.2% of AMERISAFE shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares AMERISAFE 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
AMERISAFE $384.23 million 2.97 $95.81 million $3.43 17.39
Emergent Capital N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

AMERISAFE has higher revenue and earnings than Emergent Capital.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for AMERISAFE and Emergent Capital, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
AMERISAFE 0 1 1 0 2.50
Emergent Capital 0 0 0 0 N/A

AMERISAFE presently has a consensus target price of $64.00, indicating a potential upside of 7.29%. Given AMERISAFE’s higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe AMERISAFE is more favorable than Emergent Capital.

Summary

AMERISAFE beats Emergent Capital on 9 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

AMERISAFE Company Profile

Amerisafe, Inc. is an insurance holding company. The Company is engaged in providing workers’ compensation insurance focused on small to mid-sized employers engaged in hazardous industries, principally construction, trucking, logging and lumber, manufacturing, and agriculture. It is engaged in underwriting the workers’ compensation exposures inherent in these industries. It provides coverage to employers under state and federal workers’ compensation laws. The Company’s workers’ compensation insurance policies provide benefits to injured employees for, temporary or permanent disability, death and medical and hospital expenses. The Company provides safety services at employers’ workplaces as a component of its underwriting process. It utilizes claims management practices. In addition to its voluntary workers’ compensation business, it underwrites workers’ compensation policies for employers assigned to the Company and assumes reinsurance premiums from mandatory pooling arrangements.

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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