United Fire Group (NASDAQ: UFCS) and National Interstate (NASDAQ:NATL) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, profitability, risk and institutional ownership.
Earnings & Valuation
This table compares United Fire Group and National Interstate’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|United Fire Group||$1.14 billion||0.98||$49.90 million||$0.63||71.08|
Insider and Institutional Ownership
58.4% of United Fire Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.9% of National Interstate shares are held by institutional investors. 5.8% of United Fire Group shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 11.8% of National Interstate shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.
This table compares United Fire Group and National Interstate’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|United Fire Group||1.49%||1.32%||0.30%|
United Fire Group pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. National Interstate pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. United Fire Group pays out 177.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. National Interstate pays out 40.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.
This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for United Fire Group and National Interstate, as provided by MarketBeat.com.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|United Fire Group||0||2||1||0||2.33|
United Fire Group currently has a consensus target price of $46.33, indicating a potential upside of 3.47%. Given United Fire Group’s higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe United Fire Group is more favorable than National Interstate.
National Interstate beats United Fire Group on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.
About United Fire Group
United Fire Group, Inc., formerly United Fire & Casualty Company, is engaged in the business of writing property and casualty insurance and life insurance and selling annuities. The Company operates in two segments: property and casualty insurance, and life insurance. The Company’s property and casualty insurance segment consists of commercial lines insurance, including surety bonds, personal lines insurance and assumed insurance. Its life insurance segment consists of deferred and immediate annuities, universal life insurance products and traditional life insurance products. Its life insurance segment consists solely of the operations of United Life Insurance Company. On February 1, 2012, the Company completed a holding company reorganization of United Fire Group, Inc., United Fire & Casualty Company and UFC MergeCo, Inc. On March 28, 2011, the Company acquired Mercer Insurance Group, Inc. (Mercer Insurance Group).
About National Interstate
National Interstate Corporation and its subsidiaries operate as an insurance holding company that underwrites and sells traditional and alternative property and casualty insurance products to the passenger transportation, trucking and moving and storage industries, general commercial insurance to small businesses in Hawaii and Alaska and personal insurance to owners of recreational vehicles throughout the United States. The Company is a specialty property and casualty insurance company with a focus on the transportation industry. The Company operates through property and casualty insurance segment. The Company offers approximately 40 product lines in the specialty property and casualty insurance market, which it groups into approximately four general business components: alternative risk transfer (ART), transportation, specialty personal lines, and Hawaii and Alaska based on the class of business, insureds’ risk participation or geographic location.
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