Reviewing Watford (NASDAQ:WTRE) and Progressive (NASDAQ:PGR)

Watford (NASDAQ:WTRE) and Progressive (NYSE:PGR) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Watford and Progressive’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Watford 8.38% -30.56% -7.31%
Progressive 9.18% 26.80% 6.62%

Risk and Volatility

Watford has a beta of 0.59, meaning that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Progressive has a beta of 0.51, meaning that its stock price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

31.1% of Watford shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.0% of Progressive shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.6% of Watford shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Progressive shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Watford and Progressive, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Watford 0 2 1 0 2.33
Progressive 0 6 7 1 2.64

Watford presently has a consensus price target of $20.00, indicating a potential upside of 26.34%. Progressive has a consensus price target of $85.71, indicating a potential upside of 7.00%. Given Watford’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Watford is more favorable than Progressive.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Watford and Progressive’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Watford $687.36 million 0.46 $62.54 million $2.00 7.92
Progressive $39.02 billion 1.20 $3.97 billion $6.72 11.92

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

Summary

Progressive beats Watford on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Watford

Watford Holdings Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a property, casualty, and mortgage insurance and reinsurance company worldwide. The company was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Pembroke, Bermuda.

About Progressive

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial auto insurance, residential property insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services primarily in the United States. Its Personal Lines segment writes insurance for personal autos, and recreational and other vehicles. This segment's products include personal auto insurance; and special lines products, including insurance for motorcycles, ATVs, RVs, watercrafts, and snowmobiles. The company's Commercial Lines segment provides primary liability, physical damage, and other auto-related insurance for autos, vans, pick-up trucks, and dump trucks used by small businesses; tractors, trailers, and straight trucks primarily used by regional general freight and expeditor-type businesses, and non-fleet long-haul operators; dump trucks, log trucks, and garbage trucks used by dirt, sand and gravel, logging, and coal-type businesses; tow trucks and wreckers used in towing services and gas/service station businesses; and non-fleet taxis, black-car services, and airport taxis. Its Property segment provides residential property insurance for homes, condos, manufactured homes, and renters, as well as offers personal umbrella insurance, and primary and excess flood insurance. The company also offers policy issuance and claims adjusting services; home, condominium, renters, and other insurance; and general liability and business owner's policies, and workers' compensation insurance. In addition, it offers reinsurance services. The Progressive Corporation sells its products and services through independent insurance agencies, as well as directly on Internet, and mobile devices, and over the phone. The company was founded in 1937 and is headquartered in Mayfield Village, Ohio.

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