Head to Head Survey: Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) vs. Associated Capital Group (NYSE:AC)

Waddell & Reed Financial (NYSE:WDR) and Associated Capital Group (NYSE:AC) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk and dividends.

Dividends

Waddell & Reed Financial pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.9%. Associated Capital Group pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Waddell & Reed Financial pays out 43.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Waddell & Reed Financial and Associated Capital Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Waddell & Reed Financial $1.16 billion 1.10 $183.59 million $2.28 7.45
Associated Capital Group $22.78 million 38.17 -$58.10 million N/A N/A

Waddell & Reed Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Associated Capital Group.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

98.2% of Waddell & Reed Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 12.0% of Associated Capital Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.1% of Waddell & Reed Financial shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 83.7% of Associated Capital Group shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Waddell & Reed Financial and Associated Capital Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Waddell & Reed Financial 15.09% 19.31% 13.23%
Associated Capital Group -55.98% 1.01% 0.91%

Risk & Volatility

Waddell & Reed Financial has a beta of 1.46, meaning that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Associated Capital Group has a beta of 1.1, meaning that its stock price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Waddell & Reed Financial and Associated Capital Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Waddell & Reed Financial 4 2 1 0 1.57
Associated Capital Group 0 2 2 0 2.50

Waddell & Reed Financial currently has a consensus target price of $18.43, indicating a potential upside of 8.55%. Associated Capital Group has a consensus target price of $42.25, indicating a potential upside of 9.60%. Given Associated Capital Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Associated Capital Group is more favorable than Waddell & Reed Financial.

Summary

Waddell & Reed Financial beats Associated Capital Group on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Waddell & Reed Financial Company Profile

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides investment management and advisory, investment product underwriting and distribution, and shareholder services administration to mutual funds, and institutional and separately managed accounts in the United States. The company acts as an investment adviser for institutional and other private investors, and provides sub advisory services to other investment companies; and underwrites and distributes registered open-end mutual fund portfolios. It also offers fee-based asset allocation investment advisory products to advisors channel customers; distributes business partners' variable annuity products, and retirement and life insurance products to advisors channel customers; and sells life insurance and disability products underwritten by various carriers. The company distributes investment products through its wholesale channel comprising other broker/dealers, various retirement platforms, and registered investment advisors, as well as through independent financial advisors; and markets investment advisory services to institutional investors directly or through consultants. Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. was founded in 1937 and is based in Overland Park, Kansas.

Associated Capital Group Company Profile

Associated Capital Group, Inc. provides investment advisory and asset management services in the United States. It offers alternative investment management, institutional research, and underwriting services. The company was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Rye, New York.

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