State Street (NYSE: STT) and Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE) are both financials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, risk, profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for State Street and Safeguard Scientifics, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
State Street 1 8 4 1 2.36
Safeguard Scientifics 0 0 0 0 N/A

State Street currently has a consensus target price of $98.00, indicating a potential downside of 0.23%. Safeguard Scientifics has a consensus target price of $13.25, indicating a potential upside of 15.22%. Given Safeguard Scientifics’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Safeguard Scientifics is more favorable than State Street.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares State Street and Safeguard Scientifics’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
State Street $10.64 billion 3.43 $2.14 billion $5.78 16.99
Safeguard Scientifics N/A N/A -$22.26 million ($4.50) -2.56

State Street has higher revenue and earnings than Safeguard Scientifics. Safeguard Scientifics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than State Street, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

State Street has a beta of 1.35, suggesting that its stock price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Safeguard Scientifics has a beta of 1.29, suggesting that its stock price is 29% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares State Street and Safeguard Scientifics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
State Street 20.56% 13.03% 1.01%
Safeguard Scientifics N/A -68.35% -43.20%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

88.1% of State Street shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.3% of Safeguard Scientifics shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of State Street shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.1% of Safeguard Scientifics shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


State Street pays an annual dividend of $1.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Safeguard Scientifics does not pay a dividend. State Street pays out 29.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Safeguard Scientifics has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.


State Street beats Safeguard Scientifics on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

State Street Company Profile

State Street Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company operates through two lines of business: Investment Servicing and Investment Management. The Company, through its subsidiary, State Street Bank and Trust Company (State Street Bank), provides a range of financial products and services to institutional investors across the world. Investment servicing line of business performs functions, such as providing institutional investors with clearing, settlement and payment services. The Company operates investment management line of business through State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). SSGA provides a range of investment management, investment research and investment advisory services to corporations, public funds and other investors. Its clients include mutual funds, collective investment funds and other investment pools, corporate and public retirement plans, insurance companies, foundations, endowments and investment managers.

Safeguard Scientifics Company Profile

Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. is engaged in providing capital to technology companies within the fields of healthcare, financial services and digital media. The Company holds interest in companies, which it refers to as partner companies. As of December 31, 2016, the Company held interests in 29 non-consolidated partner companies. The Company offers operational and management support to each of its partner companies. In addition to management and operational support, the Company offers ongoing planning and development assessment. It provides mentoring, advice and guidance to develop partner company management. The Company serves on the boards of directors of its partner companies, working with them to develop and implement strategic and operating plans. It measures and monitors achievement of these plans through regular review of operational and financial performance measurements.

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