Communications Systems (NASDAQ: JCS) and UTStarcom Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:UTSI) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and risk.

Risk & Volatility

Communications Systems has a beta of 1.03, suggesting that its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, UTStarcom Holdings Corp has a beta of -0.34, suggesting that its stock price is 134% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Communications Systems pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.8%. UTStarcom Holdings Corp does not pay a dividend. Communications Systems pays out -16.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Communications Systems and UTStarcom Holdings Corp, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Communications Systems 0 0 1 0 3.00
UTStarcom Holdings Corp 0 0 0 0 N/A

Communications Systems presently has a consensus price target of $6.00, suggesting a potential upside of 41.51%. Given Communications Systems’ higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Communications Systems is more favorable than UTStarcom Holdings Corp.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Communications Systems and UTStarcom Holdings Corp’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Communications Systems $91.24 million 0.42 -$1.87 million ($0.98) -4.33
UTStarcom Holdings Corp $80.18 million 1.02 $535,000.00 $0.02 116.06

UTStarcom Holdings Corp has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Communications Systems. Communications Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than UTStarcom Holdings Corp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Communications Systems and UTStarcom Holdings Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Communications Systems -9.55% -14.44% -12.11%
UTStarcom Holdings Corp 1.24% 1.07% 0.49%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

31.8% of Communications Systems shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 25.9% of UTStarcom Holdings Corp shares are held by institutional investors. 17.5% of Communications Systems shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.7% of UTStarcom Holdings Corp shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Communications Systems beats UTStarcom Holdings Corp on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Communications Systems

Communications Systems, Inc. (CSI) operates directly and through its subsidiaries located in the United States, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: Suttle, Transition Networks and JDL Technologies (JDL). The Company provides physical connectivity infrastructure products and services for global deployments of broadband networks. The Company is principally engaged through its subsidiary and business unit, Suttle, Inc., in the manufacture and sale of connectivity infrastructure products for broadband and voice communications, and through its another subsidiary and business unit, Transition Networks, Inc., in the manufacture and sale of core media conversion products for broadband networks. Through its JDL Technologies, Inc. subsidiary and business unit, CSI provides information technology (IT) solutions, including network design, computer infrastructure installations, IT service management, network security and network operation services.

About UTStarcom Holdings Corp

UTStarcom Holdings Corp. provides broadband products, solution and services. The Company delivers broadband transport and access (both wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) and fixed line) products and solutions, optimized for mobile backhaul, metro aggregation, broadband access and Wi-Fi data offloading. Its segments include Equipment, which is focused on its equipment sales, including network infrastructure and application products, and Services, which is engaged in providing services and support of its equipment products and also the new operational support segment. The broadband product lines include family of packet transport network (PTN) products based on multi-protocol label switch transport profile (MPLS-TP) and carrier Ethernet (CE) technologies enhanced through in-house software-defined networking (SDN) platform to support the network evolution, and multi services access network (MSAN) platform. Wireless broadband access is represented by end-to-end Carrier Wi-Fi solution.

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