Cohen & Steers (CNS) versus Virtus Investment Partners (VRTS) Critical Survey

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

95.8% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 44.5% of Cohen & Steers shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.0% of Virtus Investment Partners shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 52.9% of Cohen & Steers shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Virtus Investment Partners and Cohen & Steers, as reported by MarketBeat.

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

Virtus Investment Partners presently has a consensus target price of $130.00, indicating a potential upside of 15.50%. Cohen & Steers has a consensus target price of $44.00, indicating a potential downside of 6.92%. Given Virtus Investment Partners’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Virtus Investment Partners is more favorable than Cohen & Steers.

Risk & Volatility

Virtus Investment Partners has a beta of 1.89, suggesting that its share price is 89% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cohen & Steers has a beta of 1.64, suggesting that its share price is 64% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

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

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

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Virtus Investment Partners $322.55 million 2.50 $48.50 million $5.12 21.98
Cohen & Steers $349.88 million 6.26 $92.93 million $2.09 22.62

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.

Dividends

Virtus Investment Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Cohen & Steers pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Virtus Investment Partners pays out 35.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cohen & Steers pays out 53.6% 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. Virtus Investment Partners has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Summary

Cohen & Steers beats Virtus Investment Partners on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Virtus Investment Partners Company Profile

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.

Cohen & Steers Company Profile

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.

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