James River Group (NASDAQ: JRVR) and White Mountains Insurance Group (NYSE:WTM) are both property & casualty insurance – nec companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares James River Group and White Mountains Insurance Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
James River Group 8.98% 9.36% 2.66%
White Mountains Insurance Group 69.96% 1.32% 0.82%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares James River Group and White Mountains Insurance Group’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
James River Group $586.23 million 1.80 $74.47 million $2.28 15.61
White Mountains Insurance Group $1.36 billion 2.32 $412.50 million $1.81 464.79

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

Risk & Volatility

James River Group has a beta of 0.5, meaning that its stock price is 50% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, White Mountains Insurance Group has a beta of 0.53, meaning that its stock price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for James River Group and White Mountains Insurance Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
James River Group 0 2 2 0 2.50
White Mountains Insurance Group 0 0 0 0 N/A

James River Group currently has a consensus target price of $45.00, suggesting a potential upside of 26.40%. Given James River Group’s higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe James River Group is more favorable than White Mountains Insurance Group.

Dividends

James River Group pays an annual dividend of $3.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.0%. White Mountains Insurance Group pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. James River Group pays out 140.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. White Mountains Insurance Group pays out 55.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

96.2% of James River Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 81.9% of White Mountains Insurance Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 41.0% of James River Group shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.1% of White Mountains Insurance Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

James River Group beats White Mountains Insurance Group on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About James River Group

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 White Mountains Insurance Group

White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. is a holding company. The Company’s principal businesses are conducted through its insurance subsidiaries and other affiliates. Its segments include HG Global/BAM and Other Operations. The HG Global/BAM segment consists of the operations of HG Global Ltd. (HG Global) and Build America Mutual Assurance Company (BAM). The Other Operations segment consists of the Company and its intermediate holding companies, its investment management subsidiary, White Mountains Advisors LLC, and certain consolidated and unconsolidated private capital investments.

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