Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE) and Oaktree Capital Group (NYSE:OAK) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership and valuation.

Dividends

Oaktree Capital Group pays an annual dividend of $5.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 11.2%. Safeguard Scientifics does not pay a dividend. Oaktree Capital Group pays out 114.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

77.6% of Safeguard Scientifics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 21.8% of Oaktree Capital Group shares are held by institutional investors. 2.7% of Safeguard Scientifics shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Safeguard Scientifics has a beta of 1.3, meaning that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Oaktree Capital Group has a beta of 0.61, meaning that its share price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Safeguard Scientifics and Oaktree Capital Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Safeguard Scientifics 0 0 0 0 N/A
Oaktree Capital Group 1 5 1 0 2.00

Oaktree Capital Group has a consensus target price of $47.20, indicating a potential upside of 0.96%. Given Oaktree Capital Group’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Oaktree Capital Group is more favorable than Safeguard Scientifics.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Safeguard Scientifics and Oaktree Capital Group’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Safeguard Scientifics N/A N/A -$17.72 million ($4.76) -2.84
Oaktree Capital Group $1.51 billion 1.99 $497.59 million $4.57 10.23

Oaktree Capital Group has higher revenue and earnings than Safeguard Scientifics. Safeguard Scientifics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Oaktree Capital Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Safeguard Scientifics and Oaktree Capital Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Safeguard Scientifics N/A -61.90% -42.77%
Oaktree Capital Group 19.17% 20.11% 4.95%

Summary

Oaktree Capital Group beats Safeguard Scientifics on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Safeguard Scientifics

Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. is engaged in providing capital to technology companies within the fields of healthcare, financial services and digital media. The Company holds interest in companies, which it refers to as partner companies. As of December 31, 2016, the Company held interests in 29 non-consolidated partner companies. The Company offers operational and management support to each of its partner companies. In addition to management and operational support, the Company offers ongoing planning and development assessment. It provides mentoring, advice and guidance to develop partner company management. The Company serves on the boards of directors of its partner companies, working with them to develop and implement strategic and operating plans. It measures and monitors achievement of these plans through regular review of operational and financial performance measurements.

About Oaktree Capital Group

Oaktree Capital Group, LLC (Oaktree) is an investment manager specializing in alternative investments. The Company operates through investment management segment, which consists of the investment management services that the Company provides to its clients. The Company manages investments in a range of strategies within approximately six asset classes, which include corporate debt, convertible securities, distressed debt, control investing, real estate and listed equities. The Funds managed by Oaktree include commingled funds, separate accounts and collateralized loan obligation vehicles (CLOs). The commingled funds include open-end and closed-end limited partnerships in which it makes an investment and for which it serves as the general partner. CLOs are structured finance vehicles in which the Company typically makes an investment and for which it serves as collateral manager. Its clientele includes the United States pension plans and corporations and/or their pension funds.

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