Comparing Nicholas Financial (NICK) & Asta Funding (ASFI)

Nicholas Financial (NASDAQ:NICK) and Asta Funding (NASDAQ:ASFI) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Risk and Volatility

Nicholas Financial has a beta of 0.73, suggesting that its share price is 27% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Asta Funding has a beta of 0.11, suggesting that its share price is 89% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Nicholas Financial and Asta Funding, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nicholas Financial 0 0 0 0 N/A
Asta Funding 0 0 0 0 N/A

Insider and Institutional Ownership

35.1% of Nicholas Financial shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 15.2% of Asta Funding shares are held by institutional investors. 27.3% of Nicholas Financial shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 62.9% of Asta Funding shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Nicholas Financial and Asta Funding’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nicholas Financial $83.92 million 1.71 -$1.09 million N/A N/A
Asta Funding $21.43 million 1.22 -$13.00 million N/A N/A

Nicholas Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Asta Funding.

Profitability

This table compares Nicholas Financial and Asta Funding’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nicholas Financial -0.32% 2.90% 1.11%
Asta Funding N/A N/A N/A

Summary

Nicholas Financial beats Asta Funding on 7 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

Nicholas Financial Company Profile

Nicholas Financial, Inc. operates as a specialized consumer finance company in the United States. The company engages in acquiring and servicing automobile finance installment contracts for the purchase of new and used automobiles and light trucks. It also originates direct consumer loans and sells consumer-finance related products. As of March 31, 2018, the company operated 60 branch offices located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Nicholas Financial, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida.

Asta Funding Company Profile

Asta Funding, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the consumer receivable business in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Consumer Receivables, Personal Injury Claims, Structured Settlements, and GAR Disability Advocacy. The Consumer Receivables segment involved in the purchase, management, and servicing distressed consumer receivables, including charged-off receivables consisting of accounts that have been written-off by the originators and might have been previously serviced by collection agencies; semi-performing receivables, including accounts where the debtor is currently making partial or irregular monthly payments, but the accounts might have been written-off by the originators; and performing receivables comprising accounts where the debtor is making regular monthly payments that might or might not have been delinquent in the past. Its distressed consumer receivables include MasterCard, Visa, and other credit card accounts, which were charged-off by the issuers or providers for non-payment. The Personal Injury Claims segment invests in funding personal injury claims. The Structured Settlements segment purchases periodic structured settlements and annuity policies from individuals in exchange for a lump sum payment. The GAR Disability Advocacy segment obtains and represents individuals in their claims for social security disability and supplemental security income benefits from the social security administration. Asta Funding, Inc. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

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