Epocrates (NASDAQ: EPOC) and Materialise (NASDAQ:MTLS) are both small-cap technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, profitability and valuation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

12.0% of Materialise shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Epocrates and Materialise, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Epocrates 0 0 0 0 N/A
Materialise 0 0 4 0 3.00

Materialise has a consensus target price of $15.50, indicating a potential upside of 13.30%. Given Materialise’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Materialise is more favorable than Epocrates.

Profitability

This table compares Epocrates and Materialise’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Epocrates N/A N/A N/A
Materialise -2.07% -3.45% -1.55%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Epocrates and Materialise’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Epocrates N/A N/A N/A ($0.30) -39.10
Materialise $120.67 million 5.37 -$3.34 million ($0.07) -195.40

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

Summary

Materialise beats Epocrates on 5 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Epocrates

Epocrates, Inc. (Epocrates) is a provider of mobile drug reference tools and electronic health records to healthcare professionals and interactive services to the healthcare industry. As of December 31, 2011, its user network consists of well over one million healthcare professionals, including approximately 340,000, or more than 50% of United States physicians. The Company offers its products on major United States mobile platforms, including Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Epocrates operates in two segments: Subscriptions and Interactive Services, and Electronic Health Records. It uses brand names include DocAlert, Epocrates, Epocrates Honors, Epocrates ID, Epocrates Lab, Epocrates MedTools, Epocrates Rx, Epocrates Rx Pro, Epocrates Dx, Epocrates QuickSurvey, Epocrates QuickRecruit, Epocrates MedInsight, EssentialPoints and MedCafe. In October 2011, it launched a redesign of the drug reference tool to create a new platform that provides healthcare professionals.

About Materialise

Materialise NV is a Belgium-based company engaged in the software industry. The Company is a provider of additive manufacturing software and of three dimensional (3D) printing services. Materialise NV incorporates of 3D printing experience into a range of software solution and 3D printing services, through which the Company seeks to form the backbone of the 3D printing industry. Its solutions enable players in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design, and consumer goods, to build 3D printing applications. The Company operates in the domestic market and worldwide, including Colombia, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Austria, Poland, Germany and France, among others.

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