Aegon NV (NYSE: AEG) and MetLife (NYSE:MET) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends and risk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

10.6% of Aegon NV shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.1% of MetLife shares are held by institutional investors. 0.3% of MetLife shares are held 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.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Aegon NV and MetLife’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aegon NV $63.63 billion 0.19 $3.20 billion $0.91 6.53
MetLife $63.21 billion 0.85 $817.50 million $0.09 561.62

Aegon NV has higher revenue and earnings than MetLife. Aegon NV is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than MetLife, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Aegon NV has a beta of 1.35, indicating that its share price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MetLife has a beta of 1.44, indicating that its share price is 44% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Aegon NV and MetLife’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aegon NV 5.18% 6.73% 0.40%
MetLife 0.30% 8.51% 0.65%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Aegon NV and MetLife, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aegon NV 0 5 1 0 2.17
MetLife 1 4 8 0 2.54

Aegon NV currently has a consensus price target of $4.80, indicating a potential downside of 19.19%. MetLife has a consensus price target of $58.89, indicating a potential upside of 16.53%. Given MetLife’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe MetLife is more favorable than Aegon NV.

Dividends

Aegon NV pays an annual dividend of $0.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.2%. MetLife pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. Aegon NV pays out 27.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. MetLife pays out 1,778.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Aegon NV has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years. Aegon NV is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

MetLife beats Aegon NV on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Aegon NV

Aegon N.V. (Aegon) is an international life insurance, pensions and asset management company. The Company’s segments include the Americas, which includes the United States, Mexico and Brazil; the Netherlands; the United Kingdom; Central & Eastern Europe; Spain & Portugal; Asia, and Aegon Asset Management. It offers protection against mortality, morbidity and longevity risks, including traditional and universal life. It offers products with mortality, morbidity, and longevity risks, including traditional and universal life; mortgages; annuity products, and banking products. It offers individual protection products, such as annuities, term insurance, income protection and international/offshore bonds. It has activities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. It offers life insurance marketed to high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong and Singapore. It also offers investment products covering third-party customers, insurance-linked solutions.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. is a provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The Company’s segments include U.S.; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); MetLife Holdings, and Corporate & Other. Its U.S. segment is organized into Group Benefits, Retirement and Income Solutions and Property & Casualty businesses. Its Asia segment offers products, including life insurance; accident and health insurance, and retirement and savings products. Latin America offers products, including life insurance, and retirement and savings products. Life insurance includes universal, variable and term life products. EMEA offers products, including life insurance, accident and health insurance, retirement and savings products, and credit insurance.

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