U.S. Physical Therapy (NYSE: USPH) and AMN Healthcare Services (NYSE:AMN) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, profitabiliy and dividends.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares U.S. Physical Therapy and AMN Healthcare Services’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
U.S. Physical Therapy $363.35 million 2.19 $59.41 million $1.71 36.96
AMN Healthcare Services $1.93 billion 0.94 $226.88 million $2.37 16.03

AMN Healthcare Services has higher revenue and earnings than U.S. Physical Therapy. AMN Healthcare Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than U.S. Physical Therapy, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares U.S. Physical Therapy and AMN Healthcare Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
U.S. Physical Therapy 5.65% 12.91% 7.01%
AMN Healthcare Services 6.01% 26.83% 10.54%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

96.1% of U.S. Physical Therapy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 100.0% of AMN Healthcare Services shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.3% of U.S. Physical Therapy shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.5% of AMN Healthcare Services shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

U.S. Physical Therapy pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. AMN Healthcare Services does not pay a dividend. U.S. Physical Therapy pays out 46.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. U.S. Physical Therapy has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for U.S. Physical Therapy and AMN Healthcare Services, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
U.S. Physical Therapy 0 2 2 0 2.50
AMN Healthcare Services 0 1 4 0 2.80

U.S. Physical Therapy presently has a consensus price target of $68.33, indicating a potential upside of 8.12%. AMN Healthcare Services has a consensus price target of $45.80, indicating a potential upside of 20.53%. Given AMN Healthcare Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe AMN Healthcare Services is more favorable than U.S. Physical Therapy.

Risk and Volatility

U.S. Physical Therapy has a beta of 1.06, meaning that its stock price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, AMN Healthcare Services has a beta of 0.56, meaning that its stock price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

AMN Healthcare Services beats U.S. Physical Therapy on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About U.S. Physical Therapy

U.S. Physical Therapy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates outpatient physical therapy clinics that provide pre-and post-operative care, and treatment for orthopedic-related disorders, sports-related injuries, preventative care, rehabilitation of injured workers and neurological-related injuries. The Company’s segment is made up of various clinics within partnerships. The Company primarily operates through subsidiary clinic partnerships, in which it owns a general partnership interest and a limited partnership interest, and the managing therapists of the clinics owns the remaining limited partnership interest in the clinics. The Company operates 562 physical therapy clinics in 42 states. There are approximately 380 clinics operated under Clinic Partnerships and over 100 operated as Company-owned Facilities. In addition to its owned clinics, it also manages physical therapy facilities for third parties, primarily physicians, with over 29 third-party facilities under management.

About AMN Healthcare Services

AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. provides healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services at acute and sub-acute care hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout the United States. The Company’s segments include nurse and allied solutions, locum tenens solutions and other workforce solutions. Through its suite of solutions, the Company provides technology, analytics and services to build and manage all or a portion of its clients’ healthcare workforce needs, from nurses, doctors and allied health professionals to healthcare leaders and executives. It offers managed services programs, vendor management systems, predictive analytics, workforce optimization consulting, recruitment process outsourcing, interim and executive leadership, and remote medical coding. It offers various services, including travel nurse staffing; local, or per diem, staffing; locum tenens staffing; allied staffing; physician permanent placement services, and health information management.

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