Comparing National Security Group (NSEC) & Manulife Financial (MFC)

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National Security Group (NASDAQ:NSEC) and Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation and risk.

Dividends

National Security Group pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Manulife Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.9%. Manulife Financial pays out 44.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. National Security Group has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years and Manulife Financial has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Manulife Financial is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for National Security Group and Manulife Financial, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National Security Group 0 0 0 0 N/A
Manulife Financial 0 3 6 0 2.67

Manulife Financial has a consensus target price of $27.00, indicating a potential upside of 73.75%. Given Manulife Financial’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Manulife Financial is more favorable than National Security Group.

Risk & Volatility

National Security Group has a beta of 0.16, indicating that its share price is 84% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Manulife Financial has a beta of 1.32, indicating that its share price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

3.3% of National Security Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 46.4% of Manulife Financial shares are held by institutional investors. 37.9% of National Security Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares National Security Group and Manulife Financial’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National Security Group 3.83% 7.05% 2.26%
Manulife Financial 5.49% 13.70% 0.75%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares National Security Group and Manulife Financial’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
National Security Group $65.64 million 0.48 -$1.20 million N/A N/A
Manulife Financial $44.97 billion 0.69 $1.60 billion $1.71 9.09

Manulife Financial has higher revenue and earnings than National Security Group.

Summary

Manulife Financial beats National Security Group on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About National Security Group

The National Security Group, Inc., an insurance holding company, provides insurance products and services in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance. Its Property and Casualty Insurance segment primarily underwrites home insurance coverage with primary lines of business consisting of dwelling fire and extended coverage, mobile homeowners, and other liability insurance services in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia, as well as operates on a surplus lines basis in the state of Louisiana. The company's Life Insurance segment offers ordinary life, accident and health, supplemental hospital, and cancer insurance products in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. It distributes its products through independent agents, home service agents, and brokers. The National Security Group, Inc. was founded in 1947 and is based in Elba, Alabama.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups, and institutions in Asia, Canada, and the United States. The company offers individual life, and individual and group long-term care insurance through insurance agents, brokers, banks, financial planners, and direct marketing. It also provides pension contracts and mutual fund products and services; various retirement products to group benefit plans; and annuities, single premium, and banking products, such as deposit and credit products to Canadian customers, as well as non-guaranteed, partially guaranteed, and fully guaranteed investment options through general and separate account products. It distributes wealth and asset management products through insurance agents and brokers affiliated with the company, securities brokerage firms, financial planners, pension plan sponsors, pension plan consultants, and banks. In addition, the company is involved in the asset management business; property and casualty insurance and reinsurance businesses; and run-off reinsurance operations, including variable annuities, and accident and health. Further, it manages timberland and agricultural portfolios; and insurance agency, investment counseling, portfolio and mutual fund management, mutual fund dealer, life and financial reinsurance, and mutual funds marketing businesses, as well as investment management, advisory, and dealer activities. Additionally, the company holds and manages oil and gas properties; holds oil and gas royalties, and foreign bonds and equities; and develops and operates hydro-electric power projects. Manulife Financial Corporation was founded in 1887 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

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