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Comparing American Express (AXP) & CURO Group (CURO)

American Express (NYSE: AXP) and CURO Group (NYSE:CURO) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

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84.5% of American Express shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 44.3% of CURO Group shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of American Express shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 48.4% of CURO Group shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for American Express and CURO Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Express 1 13 12 0 2.42
CURO Group 0 0 5 0 3.00

American Express currently has a consensus target price of $107.22, indicating a potential upside of 7.50%. CURO Group has a consensus target price of $21.75, indicating a potential downside of 9.94%. Given American Express’ higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe American Express is more favorable than CURO Group.

Dividends

American Express pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. CURO Group does not pay a dividend. American Express pays out 23.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. American Express has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares American Express and CURO Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Express $33.47 billion 2.56 $2.74 billion $5.87 16.99
CURO Group $963.63 million 1.12 $49.15 million $1.84 13.13

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

Profitability

This table compares American Express and CURO Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Express 8.79% 28.41% 3.27%
CURO Group N/A N/A N/A

Summary

American Express beats CURO Group on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

American Express Company Profile

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. It operates through four segments: U.S. Consumer Services, International Consumer and Network Services, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant Services. The company's products and services include charge and credit card products, as well as other payment and financing products; network services; expense management products and services; travel-related services; and stored value/prepaid products. Its products and services also comprise merchant acquisition and processing, servicing and settlement, merchant financing, point-of-sale marketing, and information products and services for merchants; and fraud prevention services, as well as the design and operation of customer loyalty programs. The company sells its products and services to consumers, small businesses, mid-sized companies, and large corporations through online applications, direct mail, in-house teams, third-party vendors, and direct response advertising. American Express Company was founded in 1850 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

CURO Group Company Profile

CURO Group Holdings Corp., a diversified consumer finance company, provides consumer finance to a range of underbanked consumers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It offers unsecured installment loans, secured installment loans, open-end loans, and single-pay loans, as well as ancillary financial products, including check cashing, proprietary reloadable prepaid debit cards, credit protection insurance, gold buying, retail installment sales, and money transfer services. The company operates under the Speedy Cash, Rapid Cash, Cash Money, Av铆o Credit, and Opt+ brands; and online as Wage Day Advance and Juo Loans, as well as offers installment loans online under the LendDirect brand. The company was formerly known as Speedy Group Holdings Corp. and changed its name to CURO Group Holdings Corp. in May 2016. CURO Group Holdings Corp. was founded in 1997 and is based in Wichita, Kansas.