Analyzing Aflac (AFL) & Assurant (AIZ)

Aflac (NYSE: AFL) and Assurant (NYSE:AIZ) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, valuation, risk and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Aflac and Assurant, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aflac 1 9 2 2 2.36
Assurant 0 0 2 0 3.00

Aflac currently has a consensus price target of $45.63, suggesting a potential upside of 0.76%. Assurant has a consensus price target of $121.00, suggesting a potential upside of 29.54%. Given Assurant’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Assurant is more favorable than Aflac.

Volatility and Risk

Aflac has a beta of 0.95, suggesting that its share price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Assurant has a beta of 0.55, suggesting that its share price is 45% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Aflac and Assurant’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aflac 20.18% 12.29% 2.00%
Assurant 8.10% 5.24% 0.71%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

34.7% of Aflac shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.0% of Assurant shares are held by institutional investors. 3.0% of Aflac shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of Assurant shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Aflac pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Assurant pays an annual dividend of $2.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Aflac pays out 30.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Assurant pays out 56.3% 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. Aflac has raised its dividend for 35 consecutive years and Assurant has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Aflac and Assurant’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aflac $21.67 billion 1.63 $4.60 billion $3.40 13.32
Assurant $6.42 billion 0.76 $519.60 million $3.98 23.47

Aflac has higher revenue and earnings than Assurant. Aflac is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Assurant, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Aflac beats Assurant on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Aflac

Aflac Incorporated, through its subsidiary, American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, provides voluntary supplemental health and life insurance products. It operates through two segments, Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S. The Aflac Japan segment offers voluntary supplemental insurance products, including cancer plans, general medical indemnity plans, medical/sickness riders, care plans, living benefit life plans, ordinary life insurance plans, and annuities in Japan. The Aflac U.S. segment provides products designed to protect individuals from depletion of assets comprising accident, cancer, critical illness/care, hospital indemnity, fixed-benefit dental, and vision care plans; and loss-of-income products, such as life and short-term disability plans in the United States. The company sells its products through sales associates and brokers, independent corporate agencies, individual agencies, and affiliated corporate agencies. Aflac Incorporated was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia.

About Assurant

Assurant, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides risk management solutions for housing and lifestyle markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. The company operates through three segments: Global Housing, Global Lifestyle, and Global Preneed. Its Global Housing segment provides lender-placed homeowners, manufactured housing, and flood insurance; renters insurance and related products; and mortgage solutions comprising property inspection and preservation, valuation and title, and other property risk management services. The Global Lifestyle segment offers mobile device protection products and related services, and extended service contracts for consumer electronics and appliances, as well as assistance services; vehicle protection services; and credit and other insurance services. Its Global Preneed segment provides pre-funded funeral insurance and annuity products. The company was formerly known as Fortis, Inc. and changed its name to Assurant, Inc. in February 2004. Assurant, Inc. was founded in 1892 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

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