Meta Financial Group (NASDAQ: CASH) and Walter Investment Management Corp. (NYSE:WAC) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations and risk.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

74.2% of Meta Financial Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 56.5% of Walter Investment Management Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. 6.1% of Meta Financial Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 46.6% of Walter Investment Management Corp. shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Meta Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Walter Investment Management Corp. does not pay a dividend. Meta Financial Group pays out 9.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk and Volatility

Meta Financial Group has a beta of 0.88, meaning that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Walter Investment Management Corp. has a beta of 0.57, meaning that its share price is 43% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Meta Financial Group and Walter Investment Management Corp., as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Meta Financial Group 0 1 1 0 2.50
Walter Investment Management Corp. 1 1 0 0 1.50

Meta Financial Group presently has a consensus price target of $108.00, indicating a potential upside of 39.00%. Walter Investment Management Corp. has a consensus price target of $1.13, indicating a potential upside of 99.12%. Given Walter Investment Management Corp.’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Walter Investment Management Corp. is more favorable than Meta Financial Group.

Profitability

This table compares Meta Financial Group and Walter Investment Management Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Meta Financial Group 18.74% 16.60% 1.58%
Walter Investment Management Corp. -18.10% -796.24% -0.52%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Meta Financial Group and Walter Investment Management Corp.’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Meta Financial Group $238.92 million 3.04 $49.55 million $5.30 14.66
Walter Investment Management Corp. $947.12 million 0.02 -$217.78 million ($5.96) -0.09

Meta Financial Group has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Walter Investment Management Corp.. Walter Investment Management Corp. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Meta Financial Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Meta Financial Group beats Walter Investment Management Corp. on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Meta Financial Group

Meta Financial Group, Inc. is a unitary savings and loan holding company. The Company operates through its banking subsidiary, MetaBank (the Bank). Its segments include Payments, Banking, and Corporate Services/Other. MetaBank is both a community-oriented financial institution offering a range of financial services to meet the needs of the communities it serves and a payments company providing services on a nationwide basis. It operates in both the banking and payments industries through MetaBank, its retail banking operation; Meta Payment Systems (MPS), its electronic payments division; AFS/IBEX Financial Services Inc. (AFS/IBEX), its insurance premium financing division, and Refund Advantage, EPS Financial, LLC (EPS) Financial and Specialty Consumer Services, its tax-related financial solutions divisions.

About Walter Investment Management Corp.

Walter Investment Management Corp. is a diversified mortgage banking firm focused primarily on the servicing and origination of residential loans, including reverse loans. The Company operates through three segments: Servicing, Originations and Reverse Mortgage. The Servicing segment consists of operations that perform servicing for third-party credit owners of mortgage loans, as well as its own mortgage loan portfolio. The Servicing segment also includes Insurance, and Loans and Residuals businesses. The Originations segment consists of operations that originate and purchase mortgage loans that are intended for sale to third parties. The Reverse Mortgage segment consists of operations which purchases and originates home equity conversion mortgage that are securitized, but remain on the consolidated balance sheet as collateral for secured borrowings.

Receive News & Ratings for Meta Financial Group Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Meta Financial Group Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.