Eaton Vance (NYSE: EV) and Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) are both financials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, risk, dividends, profitability, institutional ownership and valuation.

Risk & Volatility

Eaton Vance has a beta of 1.89, suggesting that its stock price is 89% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Virtus Investment Partners has a beta of 1.89, suggesting that its stock price is 89% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Eaton Vance pays an annual dividend of $1.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Virtus Investment Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Eaton Vance pays out 51.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Virtus Investment Partners pays out 33.6% 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. Eaton Vance has increased its dividend for 36 consecutive years. Eaton Vance is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Eaton Vance and Virtus Investment Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Eaton Vance 18.45% 33.45% 13.84%
Virtus Investment Partners 11.64% 12.75% 3.21%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Eaton Vance and Virtus Investment Partners, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Eaton Vance 0 5 2 0 2.29
Virtus Investment Partners 0 5 0 0 2.00

Eaton Vance currently has a consensus target price of $51.36, indicating a potential downside of 7.55%. Virtus Investment Partners has a consensus target price of $130.00, indicating a potential upside of 11.64%. Given Virtus Investment Partners’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Virtus Investment Partners is more favorable than Eaton Vance.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Eaton Vance and Virtus Investment Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Eaton Vance $1.53 billion 4.29 $282.13 million $2.42 22.95
Virtus Investment Partners $322.55 million 2.58 $48.50 million $5.36 21.73

Eaton Vance has higher revenue and earnings than Virtus Investment Partners. Virtus Investment Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Eaton Vance, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

69.1% of Eaton Vance shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.8% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 4.0% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Eaton Vance beats Virtus Investment Partners on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Eaton Vance Company Profile

Eaton Vance Corp. is engaged in the business of managing investment funds and providing investment management and advisory services to high-net-worth individuals and institutions. The Company operates as an investment advisor to funds and separate accounts. The Company, through its subsidiaries and other affiliates, manages active equity, income and alternative strategies across a range of investment styles and asset classes, including the United States and global equities, floating-rate bank loans, municipal bonds, global income, high-yield and investment grade bonds. Through its subsidiary, the Company also manages a range of engineered alpha strategies, including systematic equity, systematic alternatives and managed options strategies. The Company’s open-end fund lineup includes tax-managed equity funds, and non-tax-managed equity and multi-asset funds. The Company’s family of closed-end funds includes municipal bond, domestic and global equity, and bank loan.

Virtus Investment Partners Company Profile

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (Virtus) is a provider of investment management and related services to individuals and institutions. The Company provides its products in various forms and through multiple distribution channels. Its retail products include open-end mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange traded funds, variable insurance funds, undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities (UCITS) and separately managed accounts. Its open-end mutual funds are distributed through intermediaries. Its closed-end funds trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Its variable insurance funds are available as investment options in variable annuities and life insurance products distributed by life insurance companies. Separately managed accounts consists of intermediary programs, sponsored and distributed by unaffiliated brokerage firms, and private client accounts, which are offered to the high net-worth clients of its affiliated managers.

Receive News & Ratings for Eaton Vance Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Eaton Vance and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.