James River Group Holdings (NASDAQ: JRVR) and Endurance Specialty Holdings (NYSE:ENH) are both financials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, profitability and valuation.

Risk and Volatility

James River Group Holdings has a beta of 0.56, indicating that its stock price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Endurance Specialty Holdings has a beta of 0.56, indicating that its stock price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.7% of James River Group Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 82.7% of Endurance Specialty Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. 41.0% of James River Group Holdings shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.8% of Endurance Specialty Holdings shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares James River Group Holdings and Endurance Specialty Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
James River Group Holdings 7.18% 8.17% 2.36%
Endurance Specialty Holdings 4.79% 1.62% 0.82%

Dividends

James River Group Holdings pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Endurance Specialty Holdings pays an annual dividend of $1.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. James River Group Holdings pays out 45.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Endurance Specialty Holdings pays out 25.3% 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. James River Group Holdings has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. James River Group Holdings is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for James River Group Holdings and Endurance Specialty Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
James River Group Holdings 0 1 2 0 2.67
Endurance Specialty Holdings 0 4 0 0 2.00

James River Group Holdings presently has a consensus target price of $44.67, indicating a potential upside of 9.80%. Endurance Specialty Holdings has a consensus target price of $93.00, indicating a potential upside of 0.02%. Given James River Group Holdings’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe James River Group Holdings is more favorable than Endurance Specialty Holdings.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares James River Group Holdings and Endurance Specialty Holdings’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
James River Group Holdings $699.18 million 1.72 $97.44 million $2.65 15.35
Endurance Specialty Holdings N/A N/A N/A $6.00 15.50

James River Group Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than Endurance Specialty Holdings. James River Group Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Endurance Specialty Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

James River Group Holdings beats Endurance Specialty Holdings on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About James River Group Holdings

James River Group Holdings, Ltd. (JRG Holdings) is an insurance and reinsurance holding company. The Company operates through four segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Specialty Admitted Insurance, Casualty Reinsurance, and Corporate and Other. The Excess and Surplus Lines segment offers commercial excess and surplus lines liability and excess property insurance products. The Specialty Admitted Insurance segment offers workers’ compensation insurance coverage, as well as specialty admitted fronting and program business. The Casualty Reinsurance segment offers commercial liability and non-catastrophe property reinsurance to the United States insurance companies and to its the United States-based insurance subsidiaries. The Corporate and Other segment consists of certain management and treasury activities of James River Group, Inc., James River Group Holdings UK Limited and JRG Holdings. It owns six insurance companies focused on specialty insurance niches and a reinsurance company.

About Endurance Specialty Holdings

Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. is a holding company. The Company, through its operating subsidiaries in Bermuda, the United States and the United Kingdom, focuses on underwriting specialty lines of personal and commercial property, and casualty insurance and reinsurance. It operates through two segments: Insurance and Reinsurance. In the Insurance segment, it writes agriculture, casualty and other specialty, professional lines, and property, marine/energy and aviation insurance. In the Reinsurance segment, it writes catastrophe, property, casualty, professional lines and specialty reinsurance. Its Insurance and Reinsurance segments both include property-related coverages, which provide insurance or reinsurance of an insurable interest in tangible property for property loss, damage or loss of use. In addition, its Insurance and Reinsurance segments include various casualty insurance and reinsurance coverages, which are concerned with the losses caused by injuries to third parties.

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