S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) and Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN) are both mid-cap business services companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Dividends

S&P Global pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Morningstar pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. S&P Global pays out 19.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Morningstar pays out 24.1% 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.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares S&P Global and Morningstar’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
S&P Global $5.80 billion 7.02 $2.66 billion $8.56 18.51
Morningstar $847.00 million 4.26 $228.30 million $3.82 22.20

S&P Global has higher revenue and earnings than Morningstar. S&P Global is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Morningstar, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

85.3% of S&P Global shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 38.3% of Morningstar shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of S&P Global shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 57.4% of Morningstar shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares S&P Global and Morningstar’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
S&P Global 38.78% 202.37% 18.20%
Morningstar 19.43% 15.55% 8.52%

Risk and Volatility

S&P Global has a beta of 1.5, indicating that its share price is 50% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Morningstar has a beta of 0.74, indicating that its share price is 26% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for S&P Global and Morningstar, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
S&P Global 0 1 7 0 2.88
Morningstar 0 0 0 0 N/A

S&P Global currently has a consensus price target of $154.63, indicating a potential downside of 2.41%. Given S&P Global’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe S&P Global is more favorable than Morningstar.

Summary

S&P Global beats Morningstar on 13 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About S&P Global

S&P Global Inc., formerly McGraw Hill Financial Inc., is a provider of ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Ratings, which provides credit ratings, research and analytics to investors, issuers and other market participants; Market and Commodities Intelligence, which offers multi-asset-class data, research and analytical capabilities that integrate cross-asset analytics and desktop services, and deliver their customers in the commodity and energy markets access to information, data, analytic services and pricing and benchmarks, and S&P Dow Jones Indices (Indices), which is an index provider that maintains a range of valuation and index benchmarks for investment advisors, wealth managers and institutional investors. The Company’s subsidiary, CRISIL Limited (CRISIL), is a global analytical company and a provider of ratings, data and research, analytics and solutions.

About Morningstar

Morningstar, Inc. is a provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company focuses to create products that help investors reach their financial goals. It offers a range of data, software, research, and investment management offerings for financial advisors, asset managers, sponsors, and individual investors. It provides data and research insights on a range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, listed companies, capital markets, and real-time global market data. It conducts its business operations outside of the United States through subsidiaries in countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China (both Hong Kong and the mainland), Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

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