Assurant (NYSE:AIZ) and HANNOVER RUECK/S (OTCMKTS:HVRRY) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

94.7% of Assurant shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.2% of HANNOVER RUECK/S shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Assurant shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Assurant and HANNOVER RUECK/S’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Assurant 3.95% 10.23% 1.32%
HANNOVER RUECK/S 4.48% 8.96% 1.42%

Dividends

Assurant pays an annual dividend of $2.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. HANNOVER RUECK/S pays an annual dividend of $1.57 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Assurant pays out 29.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. HANNOVER RUECK/S pays out 26.3% 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. Assurant has increased its dividend for 15 consecutive years. Assurant is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Assurant and HANNOVER RUECK/S, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Assurant 0 0 3 0 3.00
HANNOVER RUECK/S 2 7 2 0 2.00

Assurant currently has a consensus price target of $148.67, indicating a potential upside of 26.28%. Given Assurant’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Assurant is more favorable than HANNOVER RUECK/S.

Volatility & Risk

Assurant has a beta of 0.62, meaning that its share price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, HANNOVER RUECK/S has a beta of 0.9, meaning that its share price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Assurant and HANNOVER RUECK/S’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Assurant $10.09 billion 0.70 $382.60 million $8.55 13.77
HANNOVER RUECK/S $24.07 billion 0.81 $1.44 billion $5.96 13.62

HANNOVER RUECK/S has higher revenue and earnings than Assurant. HANNOVER RUECK/S is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Assurant, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Assurant beats HANNOVER RUECK/S on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Assurant Company Profile

Assurant, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides risk management solutions for housing and lifestyle markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. The company operates through three segments: Global Housing, Global Lifestyle, and Global Preneed. Its Global Housing segment provides lender-placed homeowners, manufactured housing, and flood insurance; and renters insurance and related products, as well as voluntary manufactured housing insurance, homeowners insurance, and other products. The Global Lifestyle segment offers mobile device protection products and related services, and extended service contracts for consumer electronics and appliances, as well as assistance services; vehicle protection and related services; and credit and other insurance services. Its Global Preneed segment provides pre-funded funeral insurance and annuity products. The company was formerly known as Fortis, Inc. and changed its name to Assurant, Inc. in February 2004. Assurant, Inc. was founded in 1892 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

HANNOVER RUECK/S Company Profile

Hannover Rück SE, together with its subsidiaries, provides reinsurance products and services worldwide. It operates through Property & Casualty Reinsurance, and Life & Health Reinsurance segments. The Property & Casualty Reinsurance segment offers specialty lines comprising marine, aviation, facultative, credit, surety, and political risks reinsurance products; and treaty, catastrophe XL, and structured reinsurance, as well as insurance-linked securities. This segment also provides risk solutions for casualty and property, as well as for agricultural, livestock, and bloodstock businesses; aviation and space business; and marine and offshore energy business. The Life & Health Reinsurance segment offers, enhanced annuities, group life and health, guaranteed simplified issue, 60+, and Sharia-compliant Takaful reinsurance products, as well as micro insurance products. This segment also provides risk solutions in the areas of critical illness, disability, health, longevity, long term care, and mortality. In addition, it offers various financial solutions, including new-business financing; monetization of embedded value; reserve and solvency relief; and divestiture of non-core businesses. The company was formerly known as Hannover Rückversicherung AG and changed its name to Hannover Rück SE in March 2013. The company was founded in 1966 and is based in Hanover, Germany. Hannover Rück SE is a subsidiary of Talanx AG.

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