West Corporation (NASDAQ: WSTC) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk and dividends.

Dividends

West Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.45 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Ericsson pays an annual dividend of $0.07 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. West Corporation pays out 17.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ericsson pays out -15.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years.

Profitability

This table compares West Corporation and Ericsson’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
West Corporation 9.39% -59.08% 7.03%
Ericsson -6.40% -3.16% -1.48%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for West Corporation and Ericsson, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
West Corporation 0 5 0 0 2.00
Ericsson 0 12 5 0 2.29

West Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $24.50, indicating a potential upside of 4.21%. Ericsson has a consensus target price of $5.76, indicating a potential upside of 1.45%. Given West Corporation’s higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe West Corporation is more favorable than Ericsson.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

67.4% of West Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 8.0% of Ericsson shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.6% of West Corporation shares are owned 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.

Risk & Volatility

West Corporation has a beta of 1.59, indicating that its stock price is 59% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ericsson has a beta of 1.06, indicating that its stock price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares West Corporation and Ericsson’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
West Corporation $2.29 billion 0.86 $636.33 million $2.51 9.37
Ericsson N/A N/A N/A ($0.46) -12.35

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

Summary

West Corporation beats Ericsson on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About West Corporation

West Corporation is a provider of communication and network infrastructure services. The Company helps its clients communicate, collaborate and connect with their audiences through a portfolio of solutions that include unified communications services, safety services, and interactive services, such as automated notifications, specialized agent services and telecom services. The Company’s segments include Unified Communications Services, which includes collaboration services, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and telecom services; Safety Services, which includes carrier services, government solutions and advanced services; Interactive Services, including outbound (proactive notifications-voice, text/short messaging service (SMS) and chat), inbound speech solutions (interactive voice response or IVR), Web, mobile and professional services, and Specialized Agent Services, which includes healthcare advocacy services, cost management services and revenue generation.

About Ericsson

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Ericsson) provides infrastructure, services and software to the telecommunication industry and other sectors. The Company’s segments include Networks, IT & Cloud and Media. The Networks segment consists of two business units: Network Products and Network Services. The overall focus is on evolving and managing access networks, including the development of hardware and software for radio access and transport networks. The IT & Cloud business includes two business units: IT & Cloud Products and IT & Cloud Services. The focus in IT & Cloud is to help telecom operators and selected enterprises through the digital transformations ahead. It develops and delivers software-based solutions for television and media and combines a product portfolio that spans the television value chain, with systems integration and managed services. The portfolio includes compression, content publishing through set-top box or pure over-the-top, content delivery and analytics.

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