MBIA (NYSE: MBI) and CNA Financial Corporation (NYSE:CNA) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and risk.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares MBIA and CNA Financial Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MBIA $294.00 million 2.99 -$338.00 million ($12.11) -0.58
CNA Financial Corporation $9.37 billion 1.59 $859.00 million $3.38 16.27

CNA Financial Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than MBIA. MBIA is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than CNA Financial Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

MBIA has a beta of 2.44, suggesting that its stock price is 144% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, CNA Financial Corporation has a beta of 1.34, suggesting that its stock price is 34% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

CNA Financial Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. MBIA does not pay a dividend. CNA Financial Corporation pays out 35.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

92.2% of MBIA shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.9% of CNA Financial Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.1% of MBIA shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of CNA Financial Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for MBIA and CNA Financial Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MBIA 0 0 2 0 3.00
CNA Financial Corporation 0 3 0 0 2.00

MBIA presently has a consensus price target of $14.50, suggesting a potential upside of 107.74%. CNA Financial Corporation has a consensus price target of $46.67, suggesting a potential downside of 15.12%. Given MBIA’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe MBIA is more favorable than CNA Financial Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares MBIA and CNA Financial Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MBIA N/A -4.33% -1.20%
CNA Financial Corporation 9.67% 7.14% 1.53%

Summary

CNA Financial Corporation beats MBIA on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About MBIA

MBIA Inc. is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the financial guarantee insurance businesses in the industry. The Company manages its business within three segments: United States (U.S.) public finance insurance; corporate, and international and structured finance insurance. The U.S. public finance insurance business is primarily operated through National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation. The corporate segment consists of general corporate activities, including providing general support services, including management, legal, accounting, treasury, information technology, and insurance portfolio surveillance, to other operating businesses, and asset and capital management. The international and structured finance insurance business is primarily operated through MBIA Insurance Corporation and its subsidiaries.

About CNA Financial Corporation

CNA Financial Corporation is an insurance holding company. The Company’s segments include Specialty, Commercial, International, Life & Group Non-Core, and Corporate & Other Non-Core. Its Specialty segment provides a range of professional, financial, and specialty property, and casualty products and services. The Commercial segment includes property and casualty insurance products and services to small, middle-market and large businesses. Its International segment provides management and professional liability coverages, as well as a range of other property and casualty insurance products and services. The Life & Group Non-Core segment primarily includes the results of its individual and group long term care businesses that are in run-off. Its Corporate & Other Non-Core segment primarily includes certain corporate expenses, including interest on corporate debt, and the results of certain property and casualty business in run-off.

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