Reviewing Cohen & Steers (NYSE:CNS) and Houlihan Lokey (NYSE:HLI)

Houlihan Lokey (NYSE:HLI) and Cohen & Steers (NYSE:CNS) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Houlihan Lokey and Cohen & Steers, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Houlihan Lokey 0 3 2 0 2.40
Cohen & Steers 0 1 1 0 2.50

Houlihan Lokey currently has a consensus price target of $56.93, suggesting a potential downside of 4.85%. Cohen & Steers has a consensus price target of $59.50, suggesting a potential downside of 6.34%. Given Houlihan Lokey’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Houlihan Lokey is more favorable than Cohen & Steers.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Houlihan Lokey and Cohen & Steers’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Houlihan Lokey $1.16 billion 3.38 $183.79 million $3.20 18.70
Cohen & Steers $410.83 million 7.39 $134.62 million $2.57 24.72

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

Volatility & Risk

Houlihan Lokey has a beta of 0.74, meaning that its stock price is 26% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cohen & Steers has a beta of 1.35, meaning that its stock price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Houlihan Lokey and Cohen & Steers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Houlihan Lokey 15.85% 22.67% 13.91%
Cohen & Steers 29.33% 54.04% 31.91%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

69.2% of Houlihan Lokey shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 46.6% of Cohen & Steers shares are held by institutional investors. 38.2% of Houlihan Lokey shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 49.3% of Cohen & Steers shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


Houlihan Lokey pays an annual dividend of $1.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Cohen & Steers pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Houlihan Lokey pays out 38.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cohen & Steers pays out 60.7% 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. Houlihan Lokey has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years and Cohen & Steers has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive years. Cohen & Steers is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.


Cohen & Steers beats Houlihan Lokey on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Houlihan Lokey

Houlihan Lokey, Inc., an investment banking company, provides merger and acquisition (M&A), financing, financial restructuring, and financial advisory services worldwide. It operates in three segments: Corporate Finance, Financial Restructuring, and Financial Advisory Services. The Corporate Finance segment offers general financial advisory services; and advises public and private institutions on buy-side and sell-side transactions, leveraged loans, private mezzanine debt, high-yield debt, initial public offerings, follow-ons, convertibles, equity private placements, private equity, and liability management transactions, as well as financial sponsors on various transactions. It also provides financing solutions and capital-raising advisory services for publicly-held and multinational corporations, financial sponsors, and privately-held companies. The Financial Restructuring segment advises debtors, creditors, and other parties-in-interest related to recapitalization/deleveraging transactions. It also provides a range of advisory services, including structuring, negotiation, and confirmation of plans of reorganization; structuring and analysis of exchange offers; corporate viability assessment; dispute resolution and expert testimony; and procuring debtor in possession financing. The Financial Advisory Services segment offers valuations of various assets, such as companies, illiquid debt and equity securities, and intellectual property. It also provides fairness opinions in connection with M&A and other transactions, and solvency opinions in connection with corporate spin-offs and dividend recapitalizations; and other types of financial opinions in connection with other transactions. In addition, this segment offers dispute resolution and strategic consulting services. It serves corporations, financial sponsors, and government agencies. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

About Cohen & Steers

Cohen & Steers, Inc. is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides its services to institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, and foundations. It manages separate client-focused equity, fixed income, multi-asset, and commodity portfolios through its subsidiaries. The firm launches and manages equity, fixed income, balanced, and multi-asset mutual funds through its subsidiaries. Through its subsidiaries, it also launches and manages hedge funds. The firm invests in public equity, fixed income, and commodity markets across the globe through its subsidiaries. Through its subsidiaries, it invests in companies operating in the real estate sector, including real estate investment trusts, infrastructure sector, and natural energy resources sector for its equity and fixed income investments. The firm also invests in preferred securities for its fixed income investments through its subsidiaries. Cohen & Steers, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is based in New York, with additional offices in London, United Kingdom; Central, Hong Kong; Tokyo, Japan; and Seattle, Washington.

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