Which is more compelling pick right now? – American International Group, Inc. (AIG), United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS)

The shares of American International Group, Inc. have decreased by more than -9.47% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 0.19% or $0.1 and now trades at $53.94. The shares of United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS), has slumped by -1.79% year to date as of 06/06/2018. The shares currently trade at $117.02 and have been able to report a change of 0.28% over the past one week.

The stock of American International Group, Inc. and United Parcel Service, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Wednesday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

Next 5Y EPS Growth: 36.47% versus 11.01%

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that AIG will grow it’s earning at a 36.47% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to UPS which will have a positive growth at a 11.01% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of AIG implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.

Profitability and Returns

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. AIG has an EBITDA margin of 13.08%, this implies that the underlying business of UPS is more profitable. The ROI of AIG is 1.90% while that of UPS is 19.90%. These figures suggest that UPS ventures generate a higher ROI than that of AIG.

Cash Flow

The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, AIG’s free cash flow per share is a negative -2.41, while that of UPS is positive 2.67.

Liquidity and Financial Risk

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The debt ratio of AIG is 0.54 compared to 17.18 for UPS. UPS can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than AIG.


AIG currently trades at a forward P/E of 9.61, a P/B of 0.78, and a P/S of 1.00 while UPS trades at a forward P/E of 14.85, a P/B of 75.50, and a P/S of 1.48. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, AIG is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

Analyst Price Targets and Opinions

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of AIG is currently at a -14.09% to its one-year price target of 62.79. Looking at its rival pricing, UPS is at a -5.77% relative to its price target of 124.18.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), AIG is given a 2.10 while 2.60 placed for UPS. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for UPS stocks.

Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for AIG is 2.85 while that of UPS is just 4.08. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for AIG stock.


The stock of United Parcel Service, Inc. defeats that of American International Group, Inc. when the two are compared, with UPS taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. UPS happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, UPS is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for UPS is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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