Vectrus (NYSE: VEC) and Cardtronics (NASDAQ:CATM) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, profitability, risk, earnings and institutional ownership.

Volatility & Risk

Vectrus has a beta of 1.97, indicating that its share price is 97% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cardtronics has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Vectrus and Cardtronics, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vectrus 0 1 1 0 2.50
Cardtronics 1 2 2 0 2.20

Vectrus presently has a consensus target price of $37.00, suggesting a potential upside of 38.06%. Cardtronics has a consensus target price of $31.25, suggesting a potential upside of 33.55%. Given Vectrus’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Vectrus is more favorable than Cardtronics.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.0% of Vectrus shares are held by institutional investors. 3.9% of Vectrus shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Cardtronics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Vectrus and Cardtronics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vectrus 2.02% 17.25% 4.79%
Cardtronics -9.37% 29.32% 7.19%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Vectrus and Cardtronics’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vectrus $1.19 billion 0.25 $23.65 million $1.81 14.81
Cardtronics $1.27 billion 0.84 $87.99 million ($2.99) -7.83

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

Summary

Vectrus beats Cardtronics on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Vectrus Company Profile

Vectrus, Inc. is a provider of services to the United States Government across the world. The Company offers services, including infrastructure asset management, logistics and supply chain management, and information technology and network communication. Its infrastructure asset management services support the United States Army, Air Force and Navy, and include infrastructure services, security, warehouse management and distribution, ammunition management, civil engineering, air base maintenance and operations, communications, emergency services, transportation, and life support activities at various global military installations. Its logistics and supply chain management services support and maintain the vehicle and equipment stocks of the United States Army and Marine Corps. Its information technology and network communication services consist of sustainment of communications systems, network security, systems installation and life cycle management of information technology systems.

Cardtronics Company Profile

Cardtronics plc, formerly Cardtronics, Inc., provides automated consumer financial services through its network of automated teller machines (ATMS) and multi-function financial services kiosks. The Company’s operations consists of its North America, Europe, and Corporate & Other segments. Its ATM operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico are included in its North America segment. Its ATM operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Spain and i-design are included in its Europe segment. Its transaction processing operations, which service its North American and European operations, along with external customers, and the Company’s corporate general and administrative functions comprise the Corporate & Other segment. As of December 31, 2016, it provided services to approximately 203,000 ATMs throughout the United States (including the United States territory of Puerto Rico), the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Spain, Canada and Mexico.

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