Hallmark Financial Services (NASDAQ: HALL) and Conifer (NASDAQ:CNFR) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Hallmark Financial Services and Conifer’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Hallmark Financial Services -1.19% -0.42% -0.09%
Conifer -27.29% -43.07% -12.67%

Risk and Volatility

Hallmark Financial Services has a beta of 0.82, suggesting that its share price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Conifer has a beta of 1.01, suggesting that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Hallmark Financial Services and Conifer, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Hallmark Financial Services 0 0 0 0 N/A
Conifer 0 1 0 0 2.00

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Hallmark Financial Services and Conifer’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Hallmark Financial Services $375.95 million 0.52 $6.52 million ($0.26) -41.31
Conifer $93.88 million 0.53 -$8.43 million ($3.42) -1.71

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

65.0% of Hallmark Financial Services shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 25.6% of Conifer shares are owned by institutional investors. 28.7% of Hallmark Financial Services shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 45.5% of Conifer shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Hallmark Financial Services beats Conifer on 7 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Hallmark Financial Services Company Profile

Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. is an insurance holding company. The Company markets, distributes, underwrites and services its property/casualty insurance products to businesses and individuals. Its business involves marketing, distributing, underwriting and servicing insurance products, as well as providing other insurance related services. Its segments include Standard Commercial Segment, Specialty Commercial Segment and Personal Segment. The Company’s Standard Commercial P&C operating unit primarily underwrites low-severity, short-tailed commercial property/casualty insurance products in the standard market. The Company reinsures a portion of the risk it underwrites in order to control the exposure to losses and to protect capital resources. Its Workers Compensation operating unit specializes in small and middle market workers compensation business. Its Specialty Commercial operating unit offers general aviation and satellite launch insurance products and services.

Conifer Company Profile

Conifer Holdings, Inc. is an insurance holding company. Through its insurance company subsidiaries, the Company offers insurance coverage in both specialty commercial and specialty personal product lines. It operates through two segments: commercial lines and personal lines. It is engaged in underwriting and marketing insurance coverage, and administering claims processing for such policies. The Company offers coverage for property, liability, automobile, and other miscellaneous coverage primarily to owner-operated small and mid-sized businesses, professional organizations and hospitality businesses, such as restaurants, bars and taverns. The Company offers coverage for low-value dwelling, wind-exposed homeowners and automobile. Its personal lines products include Catastrophe coverage, including hurricane and wind coverage, to underserved homeowners in Florida, Hawaii and Texas, and Dwelling insurance.

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