Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) and Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends and profitability.

Volatility and Risk

Akamai Technologies has a beta of 0.47, indicating that its share price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nielsen has a beta of 0.93, indicating that its share price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Nielsen pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.2%. Akamai Technologies does not pay a dividend. Nielsen pays out 66.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Nielsen has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Akamai Technologies and Nielsen’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Akamai Technologies 6.74% 10.63% 7.35%
Nielsen 5.57% 15.28% 4.01%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Akamai Technologies and Nielsen’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Akamai Technologies $2.50 billion 4.45 $218.32 million $1.90 34.57
Nielsen $6.57 billion 1.46 $429.00 million $2.11 12.82

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Akamai Technologies and Nielsen, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Akamai Technologies 0 8 11 0 2.58
Nielsen 0 6 7 0 2.54

Akamai Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $78.95, suggesting a potential upside of 20.19%. Nielsen has a consensus price target of $30.77, suggesting a potential upside of 13.75%. Given Akamai Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Akamai Technologies is more favorable than Nielsen.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

86.0% of Akamai Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.6% of Nielsen shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.2% of Akamai Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Nielsen shares are owned by insiders. 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.

Summary

Akamai Technologies beats Nielsen on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Akamai Technologies

Akamai Technologies, Inc. provides cloud services for delivering, optimizing, and securing content and business applications over the Internet in the United States and internationally. The company offers Web and mobile performance solutions, such as Ion, a situational performance solution; Dynamic Site Accelerator that helps in consistent Website performance; Image Manager that automatically optimizes online images; CloudTest to conduct load testing and other analysis of Websites in a pre-production environment; mPulse that provides real-time Website performance data to provide insight about end-user experiences on a Website; and Global Traffic Management, a fault-tolerant solution. It also provides cloud security solutions, including Web Application Protector to safeguard Web assets from Web application and distributed denial of service; Kona Site Defender, a cloud computing security solution; Bot Manager Premier to identify bots; Fast DNS, which translates human-readable domain names into numerical IP addresses; Prolexic Routed to protect Web- and IP-based applications; and Client Reputation for protection against DDoS and Web application attacks. In addition, the company offers enterprise security solutions, including Enterprise Application Access that enables remote access to applications; and Enterprise Threat Protector to enable enterprise security teams to identify, block, and mitigate targeted threats. Further, it provides network operator solutions, including Aura Licensed CDN, Aura Managed CDN, and Intelligent DNS solutions, as well as professional services and solutions; media delivery solutions, such as adaptive delivery, download delivery, infinite media acceleration, media services, and media analytics solutions; and NetStorage, a cloud storage solution. The company sells its solutions through direct sales and service organization; and channel partners. Akamai Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an information and measurement company. It operates through Buy and Watch segments. The company provides media and marketing information, analytics, and manufacturer and retailer expertise about what and where consumers buy, read, watch, and listen. The Buy segment provides retail transactional measurement data, consumer behavior information, and analytics primarily to businesses in the consumer packaged goods industry. This segment provides data on retail measurement services, such as market share and competitive sales volumes; insights into distribution, pricing, merchandising, and promotion; consumer panel measurement, which offers insight into shopper behavior and customer segmentation; and consumer intelligence and analytical services for decision making in product development and marketing cycles. The Watch segment provides viewership and listening data, and analytics primarily to the media and advertising industries for television, radio, print, online, and mobile viewing, and listening platforms. This segment offers television audience measurement services; audio audience measurement services; digital audience measurement services, such as digital media and market research, audience analytics, and social media measurement; mobile measurement services comprising measurement and consumer research for telecom and media companies; and total audience measurement services, as well as advertising solutions. The company was formerly known as Nielsen N.V. and changed its name to Nielsen Holdings plc in August 2015. Nielsen Holdings plc was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Oxford, the United Kingdom.

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