TPG Specialty Lending (NYSE: TSLX) and Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund (NYSE:CTR) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, valuation and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

62.7% of TPG Specialty Lending shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.9% of TPG Specialty Lending shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares TPG Specialty Lending and Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
TPG Specialty Lending 60.77% 12.68% 7.41%
Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund N/A N/A N/A

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for TPG Specialty Lending and Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
TPG Specialty Lending 0 2 2 0 2.50
Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund 0 0 0 0 N/A

TPG Specialty Lending presently has a consensus target price of $20.25, suggesting a potential downside of 1.82%. Given TPG Specialty Lending’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe TPG Specialty Lending is more favorable than Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund.

Dividends

TPG Specialty Lending pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.6%. Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund does not pay a dividend. TPG Specialty Lending pays out 71.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares TPG Specialty Lending and Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
TPG Specialty Lending N/A N/A N/A $2.17 9.50
Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Summary

TPG Specialty Lending beats Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund on 8 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

About TPG Specialty Lending

TPG Specialty Lending, Inc. is an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The Company is a specialty finance company focused on lending to middle-market companies. It seeks to generate current income primarily in the United States-domiciled middle-market companies through direct originations of senior secured loans and originations of mezzanine and unsecured loans and investments in corporate bonds and equity securities. The Company invests in first-lien debt, second-lien debt, mezzanine and unsecured debt and equity and other investments. Its first-lien debt may include standalone first-lien loans; last out first-lien loans; unitranche loans and secured corporate bonds. Its second-lien debt may include secured loans and secured corporate bonds, with a secondary priority behind first-lien debt. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s portfolio was invested across 19 different industries. The Company’s investment advisor is TSL Advisers, LLC.

About Clearbridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund

ClearBridge Energy MLP Total Return Fund Inc. is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to provide a high level of total return, consisting of cash distributions and capital appreciation. The Fund seeks to achieve its objective by investing primarily in energy master limited partnerships (MLPs). Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its managed assets in energy MLPs. Energy entities are engaged in the business of exploring, developing, producing, gathering, transporting, processing, storing, refining, distributing, mining or marketing natural gas, natural gas liquids (including propane), crude oil, refined petroleum products or coal. Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC (LMPFA) is the Fund’s investment manager and ClearBridge Investments, LLC is the Fund’s subadvisor.

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