CNO Financial Group (NYSE: CNO) and MetLife (NYSE:MET) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, dividends and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for CNO Financial Group and MetLife, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CNO Financial Group 1 6 1 0 2.00
MetLife 1 6 7 1 2.53

CNO Financial Group presently has a consensus price target of $21.67, indicating a potential downside of 10.76%. MetLife has a consensus price target of $58.45, indicating a potential upside of 9.68%. Given MetLife’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe MetLife is more favorable than CNO Financial Group.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

95.0% of CNO Financial Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.2% of MetLife shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of CNO Financial Group shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of MetLife shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares CNO Financial Group and MetLife’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CNO Financial Group $4.15 billion 0.99 $935.40 million $2.29 10.60
MetLife $63.21 billion 0.89 $817.50 million $0.09 592.18

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

Dividends

CNO Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. MetLife pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. CNO Financial Group pays out 15.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. MetLife pays out 1,778.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. CNO Financial Group has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years and MetLife has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

CNO Financial Group has a beta of 1.2, indicating that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MetLife has a beta of 1.47, indicating that its stock price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares CNO Financial Group and MetLife’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CNO Financial Group 9.61% 5.74% 0.81%
MetLife 0.30% 8.51% 0.65%

Summary

MetLife beats CNO Financial Group on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About CNO Financial Group

CNO Financial Group, Inc. is a holding company for a group of insurance companies operating throughout the United States that develops, markets and administers health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products. The Company’s segments include Bankers Life, Washington National and Colonial Penn. It sells health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products through three primary distribution channels: career agents, independent producers and direct marketing. The Company offers products in various categories, including health, annuities and life insurance. The health products include Medicare supplement, long-term care, prescription drug plan and Medicare advantage, supplemental health products and other health products. The annuities products include fixed index annuities and other fixed interest annuities. The life insurance products include interest-sensitive life products and traditional life products.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); MetLife Holdings, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses. Its Asia segment offers products, including life insurance; accident and health insurance, and retirement and savings products. Latin America offers products, including life insurance, and retirement and savings products. Life insurance includes universal, variable and term life products. EMEA offers products, including life insurance, accident and health insurance, retirement and savings products, and credit insurance.

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