WageWorks (NYSE: WAGE) and Navigant Consulting (NYSE:NCI) are both business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitabiliy, institutional ownership, earnings, risk, valuation, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares WageWorks and Navigant Consulting’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
WageWorks $402.72 million 6.42 $73.56 million $0.68 102.13
Navigant Consulting $951.48 million 0.99 $142.73 million $1.16 17.16

Navigant Consulting has higher revenue and earnings than WageWorks. Navigant Consulting is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than WageWorks, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for WageWorks and Navigant Consulting, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
WageWorks 0 1 5 0 2.83
Navigant Consulting 0 0 1 0 3.00

WageWorks currently has a consensus price target of $77.24, indicating a potential upside of 11.22%. Navigant Consulting has a consensus price target of $24.00, indicating a potential upside of 20.54%. Given Navigant Consulting’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Navigant Consulting is more favorable than WageWorks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.8% of Navigant Consulting shares are held by institutional investors. 3.5% of WageWorks shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Navigant Consulting shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares WageWorks and Navigant Consulting’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
WageWorks 6.33% 9.85% 3.28%
Navigant Consulting 5.53% 9.83% 5.88%

Volatility & Risk

WageWorks has a beta of 1.06, indicating that its stock price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Navigant Consulting has a beta of 0.87, indicating that its stock price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500.

About WageWorks

WageWorks, Inc. is engaged in administering Consumer-Directed Benefits (CDBs). The Company administers CBDs, including pre-tax spending accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), health and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), as well as Commuter Benefit Services, including transit and parking programs, wellness programs, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and other employee benefits. Its CDB programs assist employees and their families in saving money by using pre-tax dollars to pay for certain of their healthcare, dependent care and commuter expenses. Employers financially benefit from its programs through reduced payroll taxes. It provides operational support services to its clients and its cross-functional teams, including customer support and claims processing. It administers HSAs for employers that allow employee participants to invest funds to be used for qualified healthcare expenses.

About Navigant Consulting

Navigant Consulting, Inc. is a global professional services company. The Company serves clients in the healthcare, energy and financial services industries. It operates through four segments. The Healthcare segment provides consulting services and business process management services. The Energy segment provides advisory solutions in business strategy and planning, distributed energy resources and renewables, energy efficiency and demand response and grid modernization The Financial Services Advisory and Compliance segment provides strategic, operational, valuation, risk management, investigative and compliance advisory services to clients primarily in the financial services industry. The Disputes, Forensics & Legal Technology segment offers professional services, including valuation and economic analysis, as well as accounting, regulatory, construction and computer forensic expertise.

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