Cohen & Steers (NYSE: CNS) and Fifth Street Asset Management (OTCMKTS:FSAM) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Cohen & Steers and Fifth Street Asset Management’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cohen & Steers 26.53% 32.82% 25.31%
Fifth Street Asset Management -0.63% -399.09% 11.43%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

46.2% of Cohen & Steers shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 8.6% of Fifth Street Asset Management shares are owned by institutional investors. 52.9% of Cohen & Steers shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 85.4% of Fifth Street Asset Management shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Cohen & Steers and Fifth Street Asset Management, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cohen & Steers 1 2 1 0 2.00
Fifth Street Asset Management 0 0 0 0 N/A

Cohen & Steers presently has a consensus target price of $43.00, indicating a potential downside of 2.14%. Given Cohen & Steers’ higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Cohen & Steers is more favorable than Fifth Street Asset Management.

Volatility & Risk

Cohen & Steers has a beta of 1.61, meaning that its stock price is 61% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Fifth Street Asset Management has a beta of 0.35, meaning that its stock price is 65% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Cohen & Steers pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Fifth Street Asset Management pays an annual dividend of $0.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.1%. Cohen & Steers pays out 53.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Fifth Street Asset Management pays out -178.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Fifth Street Asset Management has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Fifth Street Asset Management is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Cohen & Steers and Fifth Street Asset Management’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cohen & Steers $349.88 million 5.82 $92.93 million $2.08 21.13
Fifth Street Asset Management $82.55 million 2.47 -$1.53 million ($0.14) -29.21

Cohen & Steers has higher revenue and earnings than Fifth Street Asset Management. Fifth Street Asset Management is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cohen & Steers, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Cohen & Steers beats Fifth Street Asset Management on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cohen & Steers Company Profile

Cohen & Steers, Inc. (CNS) is a holding company. The Company is an investment manager with a focus on liquid real assets, including real estate securities, listed infrastructure, commodities and natural resource equities, as well as preferred securities and other income solutions. The Company serves institutional and individual investors. The Company manages three types of investment vehicles: institutional accounts, open-end funds and closed-end funds. The Company also provides services in connection with model-based strategies (MBS) accounts. In addition, the Company provides several services in connection with assets held by unit investment trusts (UITs). As a portfolio consultant to a number of UITs, the Company constructs a portfolio of securities that suit the investment objective of the UIT. The Company also provides ongoing portfolio monitoring services and provides a license to certain firms to use its name in connection with certain of their investment products.

Fifth Street Asset Management Company Profile

Fifth Street Asset Management Inc. is an alternative asset manager. The Company provides asset management services to its investment funds (the Fifth Street Funds or the funds), which consist of Fifth Street Finance Corp. (FSC) and Fifth Street Senior Floating Rate Corp. (FSFR), both publicly-traded business development companies (together, the BDCs). Its segment provides asset management services to the Fifth Street Funds. The Company conducts all of its operations through its subsidiaries, Fifth Street Management LLC (FSM), Fifth Street CLO Management LLC (CLO Management) and FSCO GP LLC (FSCO GP). The funds, managed by the Company, provide financing solutions to small and mid-sized companies across their capital structures, mainly in connection with investments by private equity sponsors. It provides credit solutions across the capital structure, including one-stop financing, unitranche debt, senior secured debt, mezzanine debt, equity co-investments and venture debt financing.

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