Marin Software (NYSE: MRIN) and Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ:CSOD) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, earnings and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Marin Software and Cornerstone OnDemand’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marin Software -28.27% -20.49% -16.75%
Cornerstone OnDemand -15.39% -182.51% -8.45%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Marin Software and Cornerstone OnDemand, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marin Software 0 1 0 0 2.00
Cornerstone OnDemand 2 4 6 1 2.46

Marin Software currently has a consensus target price of $2.00, suggesting a potential upside of 100.00%. Cornerstone OnDemand has a consensus target price of $44.33, suggesting a potential upside of 30.05%. Given Marin Software’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Marin Software is more favorable than Cornerstone OnDemand.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

31.5% of Marin Software shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.5% of Cornerstone OnDemand shares are held by institutional investors. 20.8% of Marin Software shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 12.6% of Cornerstone OnDemand shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Marin Software has a beta of 1.51, indicating that its share price is 51% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cornerstone OnDemand has a beta of 0.61, indicating that its share price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Marin Software and Cornerstone OnDemand’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Marin Software $93.02 million 0.42 -$8.55 million ($0.63) -1.59
Cornerstone OnDemand $445.02 million 4.35 -$45.49 million ($1.21) -28.17

Marin Software has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Cornerstone OnDemand. Cornerstone OnDemand is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Marin Software, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Cornerstone OnDemand beats Marin Software on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Marin Software

Marin Software Incorporated provides a cross-channel, cross-device, enterprise marketing software platform for search, display and social advertising channels. The Company’s enterprise marketing software platform is offered as an integrated software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for advertisers and agencies. The Company’s platform enables digital marketers to manage performance of their online advertising campaigns. Its software solution is designed to help its customers measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns through its reporting and analytics capabilities; manage and execute campaigns through its user interface and underlying technology that streamlines and automates functions, such as advertisement creation and bidding, across multiple publishers and channels, and optimize campaigns across multiple publishers and channels based on market and business data using its predictive bid management technology.

About Cornerstone OnDemand

Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. is a cloud computing company. The Company provides learning and human capital management software, delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Its human capital management platform combines the talent management solutions with analytics and human resources (HR) administration solutions to enable organizations to manage the employee lifecycle. Its enterprise human capital management platform consists of four product suites: its Recruiting suite, which helps organizations to source and attract candidates, assess and select applicants, onboard new hires and manage the entire recruiting process; its Learning suite, which enables clients to manage training and development programs; its Performance suite, which provides tools to manage goal setting, performance reviews, compensation management and succession planning, and HR Administration suite, which supports employee records administration, workforce planning and compliance reporting.

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