Citizens (NYSE:CIA) and Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Citizens and Sun Life Financial’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Citizens $244.01 million 1.42 -$11.06 million N/A N/A
Sun Life Financial $20.83 billion 1.16 $2.25 billion $3.75 10.72

Sun Life Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Citizens.

Dividends

Sun Life Financial pays an annual dividend of $1.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.8%. Citizens does not pay a dividend. Sun Life Financial pays out 40.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Sun Life Financial has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

22.6% of Citizens shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 41.2% of Sun Life Financial shares are held by institutional investors. 0.1% of Citizens shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Citizens and Sun Life Financial, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Citizens 0 0 1 0 3.00
Sun Life Financial 1 2 4 0 2.43

Citizens presently has a consensus target price of $1.90, suggesting a potential downside of 72.50%. Sun Life Financial has a consensus target price of $53.67, suggesting a potential upside of 33.47%. Given Sun Life Financial’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Sun Life Financial is more favorable than Citizens.

Volatility and Risk

Citizens has a beta of 0.89, indicating that its share price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sun Life Financial has a beta of 0.86, indicating that its share price is 14% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Citizens and Sun Life Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Citizens -4.54% -5.71% -0.68%
Sun Life Financial 9.71% 13.83% 1.10%

Summary

Sun Life Financial beats Citizens on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Citizens

Citizens, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides life insurance products in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, Life Insurance and Home Service Insurance. The Life Insurance segment offers ordinary whole life, burial insurance, pre-need policies, and accident and health related policies, as well as credit life insurance and final expense policies to middle and lower income families, and individuals in the Midwest and Southern United States; and whole life and endowment policies to international residents. This segment offers its products through third-party marketing organizations and independent marketing consultants. The Home Service Insurance segment provides pre-need, final expense, and ordinary and industrial life insurance services; and annuities, as well as limited liability property policies to middle and lower income individuals in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. This segment markets its products through funeral homes and independent agents, as well as through a home service marketing distribution system. Citizens, Inc. was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial Inc., a financial services company, provides insurance, wealth, and asset management solutions to individuals and corporate clients worldwide. The company operates through five segments: Sun Life Financial Canada, Sun Life Financial United States, Sun Life Financial Asset Management, Sun Life Financial Asia, and Corporate. It offers life, health, wellness, disability, critical illness, stop-loss, and long-term care insurance products. The company also provides mutual funds, segregated funds, annuities, and guaranteed investment products; and financial and retirement planning services, as well as pooled funds, institutional portfolios, and pension funds. It distributes its products through direct sales agents, managing general agents, independent general agents, financial intermediaries, broker-dealers, banks, pension and benefits consultants, and other third-party marketing organizations. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

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