Aviva Plc (NYSE: AV) and National Western Life Group (NASDAQ:NWLI) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, risk and profitability.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

0.8% of Aviva Plc shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.0% of National Western Life Group shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of National Western Life Group shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Aviva Plc and National Western Life Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aviva Plc 0 1 1 0 2.50
National Western Life Group 0 0 0 0 N/A

Volatility and Risk

Aviva Plc has a beta of 1.2, suggesting that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Western Life Group has a beta of 1.47, suggesting that its stock price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Aviva Plc pays an annual dividend of $0.55 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.7%. National Western Life Group pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. National Western Life Group pays out 1.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Aviva Plc has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Aviva Plc is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aviva Plc N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
National Western Life Group $788.97 million 1.58 $171.25 million $30.07 12.08

National Western Life Group has higher revenue and earnings than Aviva Plc.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aviva Plc N/A N/A N/A
National Western Life Group 13.10% 5.33% 0.78%

Summary

National Western Life Group beats Aviva Plc on 7 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Aviva Plc Company Profile

Aviva plc is a holding company. The Company provides customers with long-term insurance and savings, general and health insurance, and fund management products and services. Its segments include United Kingdom & Ireland; France; Poland; Italy, Spain and Other; Canada; Asia; Aviva Investors, and Other Group activities. The United Kingdom and Ireland segment consists of two operating segments: Life and General Insurance. The principal activities of its French operations are long-term business and general insurance. Its Poland Activities in Poland consist of long-term business and general insurance operations. Its Italian operations are long-term business and general insurance. The principal activity of the Canadian operation is general insurance. Its activities in Asia consist of its long-term business operations in China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and international operations. The Aviva Investors segment offers a range of asset management services.

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.

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