Critical Survey: Piper Jaffray Companies (PJC) & Jefferies Financial Group (JEF)

Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE:PJC) and Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, earnings, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Piper Jaffray Companies and Jefferies Financial Group, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Piper Jaffray Companies 0 1 0 0 2.00
Jefferies Financial Group 0 0 1 0 3.00

Jefferies Financial Group has a consensus target price of $29.50, suggesting a potential upside of 46.33%. Given Jefferies Financial Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Jefferies Financial Group is more favorable than Piper Jaffray Companies.


Piper Jaffray Companies pays an annual dividend of $1.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Jefferies Financial Group pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Piper Jaffray Companies pays out 24.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

73.7% of Piper Jaffray Companies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.3% of Jefferies Financial Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.2% of Piper Jaffray Companies shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.0% of Jefferies Financial Group shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Piper Jaffray Companies and Jefferies Financial Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Piper Jaffray Companies $800.99 million 1.39 $57.04 million $6.13 12.40
Jefferies Financial Group $3.76 billion 1.60 $1.03 billion N/A N/A

Jefferies Financial Group has higher revenue and earnings than Piper Jaffray Companies.

Volatility & Risk

Piper Jaffray Companies has a beta of 1.35, indicating that its stock price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Jefferies Financial Group has a beta of 1.33, indicating that its stock price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Piper Jaffray Companies and Jefferies Financial Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Piper Jaffray Companies 6.44% 11.72% 5.83%
Jefferies Financial Group 10.07% 6.70% 1.44%


Jefferies Financial Group beats Piper Jaffray Companies on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Piper Jaffray Companies Company Profile

Piper Jaffray Companies operates as an investment bank and asset management firm that serves corporations, private equity groups, public entities, non-profit entities, and institutional investors in the United States and internationally. The company's Capital Markets segment offers investment banking and institutional sales, trading, and research services for various equity and fixed income products. It raises capital through equity and debt financings; provides advisory services related to mergers and acquisitions, equity private placements, and debt and restructuring advisory for corporate clients; underwrites debt issuances; and offers municipal financial advisory and loan placement services, as well as various over-the-counter derivative products. It also provides public finance investment banking capabilities that focus on state and local governments, and cultural and social service non-profit entities, as well as the education, healthcare, hospitality, senior living, and transportation sectors. In addition, this segment offers equity and fixed income advisory and trade execution services for institutional investors, and government and non-profit entities; and engages in trading activities for customer facilitation and strategic trading purposes. Further, it is involved in the merchant banking activities, which comprise equity investments in late stage private companies, and private equity funds and other firm investments; and operates alternative asset management funds in merchant banking, energy, and senior living to invest firm capital and to manage capital from outside investors. The company's Asset Management segment provides asset management services with product offerings in equity securities and master limited partnerships to institutions and individuals through separately managed accounts, and open-end and closed-end funds. Piper Jaffray Companies was founded in 1895 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Jefferies Financial Group Company Profile

Jefferies Financial Group Inc., a financial services company, engages in investment banking and capital markets, asset management, and direct investing businesses in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. the company also offers equities research, sales, and trading services; equity finance services comprising financing, securities lending, and other prime brokerage services; and wealth management services to high net worth individuals, their families and businesses, private equity and venture funds, and small institutions. In addition, it provides fixed income sales and trading services for investment grade corporate bonds, U.S. and European government and agency securities, municipal bonds, mortgage- and asset-backed securities, leveraged loans, consumer loans, securities, markets debt, interest rate, and credit derivative products, as well as foreign exchange trade execution and securitization capabilities, as well as manages, invests in, and provides services to a group of alternative asset management platforms in investment strategies and asset classes. The company was formerly known as Leucadia National Corporation and changed its name to Jefferies Financial Group Inc. in May 2018. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

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