CNO Financial Group (NYSE: CNO) and Athene Holding (NYSE:ATH) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

95.4% of CNO Financial Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 47.5% of Athene Holding shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of CNO Financial Group shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 10.6% of Athene Holding shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares CNO Financial Group and Athene Holding’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CNO Financial Group 9.61% 5.74% 0.81%
Athene Holding N/A N/A N/A

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares CNO Financial Group and Athene Holding’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CNO Financial Group $4.15 billion 0.88 $935.40 million $2.29 9.43
Athene Holding $5.72 billion 1.80 N/A N/A N/A

CNO Financial Group has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Athene Holding.

Dividends

CNO Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Athene Holding does not pay a dividend. CNO Financial Group pays out 15.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Athene Holding has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for CNO Financial Group and Athene Holding, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CNO Financial Group 1 6 1 0 2.00
Athene Holding 0 4 11 0 2.73

CNO Financial Group presently has a consensus price target of $20.50, suggesting a potential downside of 5.09%. Athene Holding has a consensus price target of $58.08, suggesting a potential upside of 12.98%. Given Athene Holding’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Athene Holding is more favorable than CNO Financial Group.

Summary

Athene Holding beats CNO Financial Group on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About CNO Financial Group

CNO Financial Group, Inc. is a holding company for a group of insurance companies operating throughout the United States that develops, markets and administers health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products. The Company’s segments include Bankers Life, Washington National and Colonial Penn. It sells health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance and other insurance products through three primary distribution channels: career agents, independent producers and direct marketing. The Company offers products in various categories, including health, annuities and life insurance. The health products include Medicare supplement, long-term care, prescription drug plan and Medicare advantage, supplemental health products and other health products. The annuities products include fixed index annuities and other fixed interest annuities. The life insurance products include interest-sensitive life products and traditional life products.

About Athene Holding

Athene Holding Ltd. is an insurance holding company. The Company’s segments include Retirement Services, Corporate and Other. Retirement Services segment consists of the United States and Bermuda operations, which issue and reinsure retirement savings products and institutional products. Retirement Services has retail operations, which provide annuity retirement solutions to its policyholders. Retirement Services has reinsurance operations, which reinsure multi-year guaranteed annuities, fixed indexed annuities, traditional one year guarantee fixed deferred annuities, immediate annuities and institutional products from its reinsurance partners. It offers two product lines: annuities and funding agreements. It offers deferred and immediate annuities, which are focused on the needs and objectives of people preparing for, approaching or living in retirement. It focuses on issuing funding agreements to institutional investors. Its life and other products include other retail products.

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