Comparing Investors Title (ITIC) and Stewart Information Services (STC)

Investors Title (NASDAQ: ITIC) and Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

42.4% of Investors Title shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.4% of Stewart Information Services shares are owned by institutional investors. 33.1% of Investors Title shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.3% of Stewart Information Services shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Investors Title and Stewart Information Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Investors Title 16.12% 11.55% 8.17%
Stewart Information Services 2.09% 7.01% 3.40%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Investors Title and Stewart Information Services, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Investors Title 0 0 0 0 N/A
Stewart Information Services 0 1 0 0 2.00

Stewart Information Services has a consensus price target of $46.00, indicating a potential upside of 6.31%. Given Stewart Information Services’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Stewart Information Services is more favorable than Investors Title.

Dividends

Investors Title pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Stewart Information Services pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Stewart Information Services pays out 55.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility and Risk

Investors Title has a beta of 0.66, indicating that its share price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Stewart Information Services has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Investors Title and Stewart Information Services’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Investors Title $161.65 million 2.23 $25.70 million N/A N/A
Stewart Information Services $1.96 billion 0.53 $48.65 million $2.17 19.94

Stewart Information Services has higher revenue and earnings than Investors Title.

Summary

Stewart Information Services beats Investors Title on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Investors Title Company Profile

Investors Title Company, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance for residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial properties. The company underwrites land title insurance for owners and mortgagees as a primary insurer; and assumes the reinsurance of title insurance risks from other title insurance companies. It also provides services in connection with tax-deferred exchanges of like-kind property; serves as a qualified intermediary in tax-deferred exchanges of property; coordinates the exchange aspects of the real estate transaction; and performs duties, including drafting standard exchange documents, holding the exchange funds between the sale of the old property and the purchase of the new property, and accepting the formal identification of the replacement property. In addition, it serves as an exchange accommodation titleholder for accomplishing reverse exchanges when the taxpayers decide to acquire replacement property before selling the relinquished property. Further, the company offers investment management and trust services to individuals, companies, banks, and trusts; and consulting and management services to clients to start and operate a title insurance agency. It issues title insurance policies primarily through approved attorneys from underwriting offices, as well as through independent issuing agents in 22 states and the District of Columbia, primarily in the eastern half of the United States. Investors Title Company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Stewart Information Services Company Profile

Stewart Information Services Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance and real estate transaction services. The company operates in two segments, Title Insurance and Related Services, and Ancillary Services and Corporate. The Title Insurance and Related Services segment is involved in searching, examining, closing, and insuring the condition of the title to real property. This segment also offers centralized title services, including title and closing, post-closing, default, and REO-related title services; home and personal insurance services; and services for tax-deferred exchanges. The Ancillary Services and Corporate segment primarily provides search, appraisal, and valuation services to the mortgage industry. The company serves homebuyers and sellers, residential and commercial real estate professionals, mortgage lenders and servicers, title agencies and real estate attorneys, home builders, and mortgage brokers and investors. It operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Central Europe, and internationally. Stewart Information Services Corporation was founded in 1893 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

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