Wright Investors Service (OTCMKTS:WISH) and Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

4.5% of Wright Investors Service shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.0% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 30.5% of Wright Investors Service shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.6% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Wright Investors Service and Virtus Investment Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Wright Investors Service 0 0 0 0 N/A
Virtus Investment Partners 0 3 2 0 2.40

Virtus Investment Partners has a consensus price target of $105.60, suggesting a potential downside of 4.47%. Given Virtus Investment Partners’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Virtus Investment Partners is more favorable than Wright Investors Service.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Wright Investors Service and Virtus Investment Partners’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Wright Investors Service $5.41 million 1.74 -$1.72 million N/A N/A
Virtus Investment Partners $552.23 million 1.39 $75.53 million $12.26 9.02

Virtus Investment Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Wright Investors Service.

Profitability

This table compares Wright Investors Service and Virtus Investment Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Wright Investors Service N/A -25.90% -25.25%
Virtus Investment Partners 13.86% 21.29% 3.96%

Volatility and Risk

Wright Investors Service has a beta of 0.66, meaning that its stock price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Virtus Investment Partners has a beta of 1.6, meaning that its stock price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Virtus Investment Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Wright Investors Service does not pay a dividend. Virtus Investment Partners pays out 17.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

Virtus Investment Partners beats Wright Investors Service on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Wright Investors Service Company Profile

Wright Investors' Service Holdings, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Winthrop Corporation, provides investment management, financial advisory, and investment research services to large and small investors in the United States. The company offers investment management products and services, including equity, fixed income, and balanced portfolios for various plan types, such as defined benefit, annuity, self-directed and 401(k), health and welfare, and education and training plans to sponsors, trade unions, endowments, corporations, state and local governments, municipalities, and foundations. It also manages various accounts, such as discretionary investment accounts, individual retirement accounts, and 401k plans, as well as accounts for non-corporate fiduciaries comprising trustees, executors, guardians, personal representatives, attorneys, and other professionals to support high net worth investors and other individual investors; and provides a family of mutual funds. In addition, the company offers research products for institutional investors that include Wright Reports, a research report providing approximately 10 years of fundamental information for approximately 35,000 companies in 63 countries; and One-Page Report, a company specific single page report with approximately 10 years of history that contains valuation ratios, earnings, and dividends. Its research products also comprise Wright Industry Averages Reports, which are consolidated reports prepared on a Global and Regional basis for various industries; corporateInformation.com, an online commercial Website that offers subscription access to the universe of Wright Reports; Wright Fiduciary Lists; and Wright FIRST Investment Research Service, a financial management service to portfolio, trust, and investment professionals. The company is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Virtus Investment Partners Company Profile

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. is a publicly owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to individual and institutional clients. It launches separate client focused equity and fixed income portfolios. The firm launches equity, fixed income, and balanced mutual funds for its clients. It invests in the public equity, fixed income, and real estate markets. The firm also invests in exchange traded funds. It employs a multi manager approach for its products. The firm employs quantitative analysis to make its investments. It benchmarks the performance of its portfolios against the S&P 500 Index. The firm conducts in-house research to make its investments. Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. was founded in 1988 and is based in Hartford, Connecticut.

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