Cohen & Steers (NYSE: CNS) and Eaton Vance Corporation (NYSE:EV) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, risk, dividends, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Cohen & Steers pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Eaton Vance Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Cohen & Steers pays out 54.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Eaton Vance Corporation pays out 48.7% 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. Cohen & Steers has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years and Eaton Vance Corporation has increased its dividend for 36 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Cohen & Steers and Eaton Vance Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cohen & Steers 26.34% 33.17% 26.42%
Eaton Vance Corporation 18.03% 34.47% 13.99%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Cohen & Steers and Eaton Vance Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cohen & Steers 1 2 1 0 2.00
Eaton Vance Corporation 0 5 1 0 2.17

Cohen & Steers currently has a consensus price target of $44.33, indicating a potential upside of 17.69%. Eaton Vance Corporation has a consensus price target of $49.58, indicating a potential upside of 4.56%. Given Cohen & Steers’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Cohen & Steers is more favorable than Eaton Vance Corporation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

45.4% of Cohen & Steers shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.6% of Eaton Vance Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 52.9% of Cohen & Steers shares are owned by company 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.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Cohen & Steers and Eaton Vance Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cohen & Steers $366.32 million 4.76 $150.50 million $2.06 18.29
Eaton Vance Corporation $1.47 billion 3.59 $478.59 million $2.30 20.62

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

Risk and Volatility

Cohen & Steers has a beta of 1.56, indicating that its stock price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Eaton Vance Corporation has a beta of 1.85, indicating that its stock price is 85% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Eaton Vance Corporation beats Cohen & Steers on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cohen & Steers Company Profile

Cohen & Steers, Inc. (CNS) is a holding company. The Company is an investment manager with a focus on liquid real assets, including real estate securities, listed infrastructure, commodities and natural resource equities, as well as preferred securities and other income solutions. The Company serves institutional and individual investors. The Company manages three types of investment vehicles: institutional accounts, open-end funds and closed-end funds. The Company also provides services in connection with model-based strategies (MBS) accounts. In addition, the Company provides several services in connection with assets held by unit investment trusts (UITs). As a portfolio consultant to a number of UITs, the Company constructs a portfolio of securities that suit the investment objective of the UIT. The Company also provides ongoing portfolio monitoring services and provides a license to certain firms to use its name in connection with certain of their investment products.

Eaton Vance Corporation 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.

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