Cna Financial (NYSE:CNA) and Progressive (NYSE:PGR) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends and profitability.

Dividends

Cna Financial pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Progressive pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Cna Financial pays out 45.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Progressive pays out 9.0% 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. Cna Financial has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years and Progressive has raised its dividend for 1 consecutive years. Cna Financial is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Risk and Volatility

Cna Financial has a beta of 0.79, indicating that its share price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Progressive has a beta of 0.64, indicating that its share price is 36% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Cna Financial and Progressive, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cna Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A
Progressive 0 7 6 0 2.46

Progressive has a consensus price target of $80.77, indicating a potential upside of 8.78%. Given Progressive’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Progressive is more favorable than Cna Financial.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cna Financial and Progressive’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cna Financial $10.13 billion 1.20 $813.00 million $3.10 14.39
Progressive $31.98 billion 1.36 $2.62 billion $4.42 16.80

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

99.1% of Cna Financial shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.7% of Progressive shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of Cna Financial shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Progressive shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Cna Financial and Progressive’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cna Financial 6.19% 7.72% 1.53%
Progressive 8.69% 26.09% 6.29%

Summary

Progressive beats Cna Financial on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cna Financial

CNA Financial Corporation provides commercial property and casualty insurance products primarily in the United States. It offers professional liability coverages and risk management services to various professional firms, including architects, real estate agents, and accounting and law firms; directors and officers, employment practices, fiduciary, and fidelity coverages to small and mid-size firms, public and privately held firms, and not-for-profit organizations; professional and general liability, as well as associated standard property and casualty coverages for healthcare industry; surety and fidelity bonds; and warranty and alternative risks products. The company also provides property insurance products, such as property, marine, boiler, and machinery coverages; casualty insurance products comprising workers' compensation, general and product liability, commercial auto, and umbrella coverages; specialized loss-sensitive insurance programs and total risk management services; and run-off long term policies. In addition, it offers long-tail exposures comprising commercial automobile liability, workers compensation, general and medical professional liability, other professional and management liability, and assumed reinsurance run-off and products liability; and short-tail exposures comprising property, commercial automobile physical damage, marine, surety, and warranty. The company markets its products through independent agents, brokers, and general underwriters to customers small, medium, and large businesses; insurance companies; associations; professionals; and other groups in the marine, oil and gas, construction, manufacturing, life science, property, financial services, healthcare, and technology industries. The company was founded in 1853 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. CNA Financial Corporation operates as a subsidiary of Loews Corporation.

About Progressive

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial auto insurance, residential property insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services primarily in the United States. Its Personal Lines segment writes insurance for personal autos, and recreational and other vehicles. This segment's products include personal auto insurance; and special lines products, including insurance for motorcycles, ATVs, RVs, watercrafts, and snowmobiles. The company's Commercial Lines segment provides primary liability, physical damage, and other auto-related insurance for autos, vans, pick-up trucks, and dump trucks used by small businesses; tractors, trailers, and straight trucks primarily used by regional general freight and expeditor-type businesses, and non-fleet long-haul operators; dump trucks, log trucks, and garbage trucks used by dirt, sand and gravel, logging, and coal-type businesses; tow trucks and wreckers used in towing services and gas/service station businesses; and non-fleet taxis, black-car services, and airport taxis. Its Property segment provides residential property insurance for homes, condos, manufactured homes, and renters, as well as offers personal umbrella insurance, and primary and excess flood insurance. The company also offers policy issuance and claims adjusting services; home, condominium, renters, and other insurance; and general liability and business owner's policies, and workers' compensation insurance. In addition, it offers reinsurance services. The Progressive Corporation sells its products and services through independent insurance agencies, as well as directly on Internet, and mobile devices, and over the phone. The company was founded in 1937 and is headquartered in Mayfield Village, Ohio.

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