Live Ventures (NASDAQ: LIVE) and Leaf Group (NYSE:LFGR) are both small-cap technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Live Ventures and Leaf Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Live Ventures 0 0 0 0 N/A
Leaf Group 0 1 4 0 2.80

Leaf Group has a consensus target price of $10.30, suggesting a potential upside of 38.26%. Given Leaf Group’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Leaf Group is more favorable than Live Ventures.

Profitability

This table compares Live Ventures and Leaf Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Live Ventures 4.28% 20.63% 5.24%
Leaf Group -25.98% -44.59% -34.40%

Risk and Volatility

Live Ventures has a beta of -3.65, suggesting that its share price is 465% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Leaf Group has a beta of 0.76, suggesting that its share price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Live Ventures and Leaf Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Live Ventures $152.06 million 0.17 $6.50 million $1.68 7.92
Leaf Group $113.45 million 1.31 -$2.01 million ($1.58) -4.72

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

6.2% of Live Ventures shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 62.7% of Leaf Group shares are held by institutional investors. 64.9% of Live Ventures shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 47.6% of Leaf Group shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Live Ventures beats Leaf Group on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Live Ventures Company Profile

Live Ventures Incorporated is a holding company for diversified businesses. The Company’s segments include Manufacturing Segment, Marketplace Platform Segment and Services Segment. The Manufacturing Segment consists of Marquis Industries, Inc. The Marketplace Platform segment consists of livedeal.com and Modern Everyday, Inc. The Services Segment consists of the local exchange carrier billings business and velocity local. It operates LiveDeal.com, a real-time deal engine that connects restaurants across the United States and consumers through an online mobile platform. It is focused on the residential, commercial and hospitality end-markets. As of September 30, 2016, the Company operated its business through 13 divisions, each specializing in a distinct area of the business, such as Best Buy flooring Source, Marquis Carpet, Best Buy Hard surface, A-O Industries, Quantum Textiles and B and H Tufters.

Leaf Group Company Profile

Leaf Group Ltd., formerly Demand Media, Inc., is diversified Internet marketplaces and media company. The Company has online media properties and marketplace platforms that enable communities of creators to reach audiences in lifestyle categories. The Company operates an online studio platform for the professional creation and distribution of content, as well as two online artist marketplaces. Its business comprises two service offerings: Content & Media and Marketplaces. The Company creates media content, including text articles, videos, photographs and designed visual formats, and publishes such content to its owned and operated online properties and to its customers’ online properties. The Company also offers its content creation and distribution platform to provide custom content and other content marketing solutions to brands, publishers and advertisers.

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