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

Risk and Volatility

CNO Financial Group has a beta of 1.21, indicating that its share price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aegon NV has a beta of 1.35, indicating that its share price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares CNO Financial Group and Aegon NV’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%
Aegon NV 5.18% 6.73% 0.40%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

95.4% of CNO Financial Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 10.6% of Aegon NV shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of CNO Financial Group shares are owned 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for CNO Financial Group and Aegon NV, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CNO Financial Group 1 6 1 0 2.00
Aegon NV 0 5 1 0 2.17

CNO Financial Group currently has a consensus price target of $20.50, suggesting a potential downside of 12.17%. Aegon NV has a consensus price target of $4.80, suggesting a potential downside of 17.10%. Given CNO Financial Group’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe CNO Financial Group is more favorable than Aegon NV.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares CNO Financial Group and Aegon NV’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CNO Financial Group $4.15 billion 0.95 $935.40 million $2.29 10.19
Aegon NV $63.92 billion 0.19 $3.21 billion $0.91 6.36

Aegon NV has higher revenue and earnings than CNO Financial Group. Aegon NV is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than CNO Financial Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

CNO Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Aegon NV pays an annual dividend of $0.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.3%. CNO Financial Group pays out 15.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Aegon NV pays out 27.5% 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. Aegon NV has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years. Aegon NV is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

CNO Financial Group beats Aegon NV on 9 of the 16 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 Aegon NV

Aegon N.V. (Aegon) is an international life insurance, pensions and asset management company. The Company’s segments include the Americas, which includes the United States, Mexico and Brazil; the Netherlands; the United Kingdom; Central & Eastern Europe; Spain & Portugal; Asia, and Aegon Asset Management. It offers protection against mortality, morbidity and longevity risks, including traditional and universal life. It offers products with mortality, morbidity, and longevity risks, including traditional and universal life; mortgages; annuity products, and banking products. It offers individual protection products, such as annuities, term insurance, income protection and international/offshore bonds. It has activities in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. It offers life insurance marketed to high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong and Singapore. It also offers investment products covering third-party customers, insurance-linked solutions.

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