Analyzing Cohen & Steers (CNS) & Virtus Investment Partners (VRTS)

Cohen & Steers (NYSE: CNS) and Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ:VRTS) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, risk, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

44.5% of Cohen & Steers shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.8% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 52.9% of Cohen & Steers shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.0% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Cohen & Steers and Virtus Investment Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cohen & Steers 26.53% 32.82% 25.31%
Virtus Investment Partners 11.64% 12.75% 3.21%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Cohen & Steers and Virtus Investment Partners, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cohen & Steers 1 2 1 0 2.00
Virtus Investment Partners 0 5 0 0 2.00

Cohen & Steers currently has a consensus target price of $44.00, suggesting a potential downside of 6.38%. Virtus Investment Partners has a consensus target price of $130.00, suggesting a potential upside of 9.57%. Given Virtus Investment Partners’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Virtus Investment Partners is more favorable than Cohen & Steers.

Risk & Volatility

Cohen & Steers has a beta of 1.65, meaning that its share price is 65% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Virtus Investment Partners has a beta of 1.9, meaning that its share price is 90% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Cohen & Steers pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Virtus Investment Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Cohen & Steers pays out 53.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Virtus Investment Partners pays out 33.6% 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. Cohen & Steers has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Cohen & Steers is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Cohen & Steers and Virtus Investment Partners’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cohen & Steers $349.88 million 6.22 $92.93 million $2.08 22.60
Virtus Investment Partners $322.55 million 2.63 $48.50 million $5.36 22.14

Cohen & Steers has higher revenue and earnings than Virtus Investment Partners. Virtus Investment Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cohen & Steers, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Cohen & Steers beats Virtus Investment Partners on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cohen & Steers

Cohen & Steers, Inc. (CNS) is a holding company. The Company is an investment manager with a focus on liquid real assets, including real estate securities, listed infrastructure, commodities and natural resource equities, as well as preferred securities and other income solutions. The Company serves institutional and individual investors. The Company manages three types of investment vehicles: institutional accounts, open-end funds and closed-end funds. The Company also provides services in connection with model-based strategies (MBS) accounts. In addition, the Company provides several services in connection with assets held by unit investment trusts (UITs). As a portfolio consultant to a number of UITs, the Company constructs a portfolio of securities that suit the investment objective of the UIT. The Company also provides ongoing portfolio monitoring services and provides a license to certain firms to use its name in connection with certain of their investment products.

About Virtus Investment Partners

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (Virtus) is a provider of investment management and related services to individuals and institutions. The Company provides its products in various forms and through multiple distribution channels. Its retail products include open-end mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange traded funds, variable insurance funds, undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities (UCITS) and separately managed accounts. Its open-end mutual funds are distributed through intermediaries. Its closed-end funds trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Its variable insurance funds are available as investment options in variable annuities and life insurance products distributed by life insurance companies. Separately managed accounts consists of intermediary programs, sponsored and distributed by unaffiliated brokerage firms, and private client accounts, which are offered to the high net-worth clients of its affiliated managers.

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