National (NASDAQ:NHLD) and INTL Fcstone (NASDAQ:INTL) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, profitability, risk and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares National and INTL Fcstone’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National -2.76% 4.73% 2.95%
INTL Fcstone 0.05% 7.95% 0.53%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for National and INTL Fcstone, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National 0 0 0 0 N/A
INTL Fcstone 0 0 0 0 N/A

Risk and Volatility

National has a beta of 0.56, meaning that its stock price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, INTL Fcstone has a beta of 1.76, meaning that its stock price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

13.0% of National shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.1% of INTL Fcstone shares are held by institutional investors. 9.2% of National shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 20.5% of INTL Fcstone shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares National and INTL Fcstone’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
National $189.87 million 0.21 $12.52 million N/A N/A
INTL Fcstone $29.42 billion 0.03 $6.40 million N/A N/A

National has higher earnings, but lower revenue than INTL Fcstone.

Summary

INTL Fcstone beats National on 7 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

National Company Profile

National Holdings Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services in the United States. The company offers retail brokerage services include execution of purchases and sale of stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, and various other securities; and investment advisory services for individual, corporate, and institutional clients. It also provides investment banking services, such as underwriting the sale of securities to the public in initial and follow-on offering, and arranging for the private placement of securities with investors; and financial and corporate advisory services comprising mergers and acquisitions, project financing, capital structure, and specific financing opportunities to micro, small, and mid-cap high growth companies. In addition, the company trades in securities, including making markets in micro and small-cap, NASDAQ, and other exchange listed stocks and provides liquidity in the United States Treasury marketplace. Further, it provides asset management advisory services to retail clients; fixed insurance products, including life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, and fixed annuities; and tax preparation services to individuals, primarily in the middle and upper income tax brackets, as well as accounting services to small and midsize companies. Additionally, the company offers licensed mortgage brokerage services; and investment products and services, which comprise stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, insurance, and managed money accounts. The company was formerly known as Olympic Cascade Financial Corporation and changed its name to National Holdings Corporation in March 2006. The company was founded in 1947 and is headquartered in New York, New York. National Holdings Corporation is a subsidiary of FBIO Acquisition, Inc.

INTL Fcstone Company Profile

INTL FCStone Inc. operates as a financial services company worldwide. The company's Commercial Hedging segment offers risk management consulting services related to agricultural and energy commodities, and base metal products listed on the London Metals Exchange. Its Global Payments segment provides payment solutions to banks and commercial businesses; and charities and non-governmental organizations, and government organizations. The company's Securities segment offers value-added solutions that facilitate cross-border trading in foreign securities, including unlisted American Depositary Receipts, Global Depository Receipts, and foreign ordinary shares. This segment also operates as an institutional dealer in fixed income securities to serve asset managers, commercial bank trust and investment departments, broker-dealers, and insurance companies. In addition, it originates, structures, and places debt instruments; trades in various international debt instruments; and offers asset management services. The company's Physical Commodities segment provides a range of trading and hedging services comprising OTC products for selecting producers, consumers, and investors. This segment also offers financing services to commercial commodity-related companies against physical inventories. The company's Clearing and Execution Services segment offers prime brokerage foreign exchange services for the financial institutions and professional traders; provides a range of OTC products, including 24-hour a day execution of spot, forwards, and options, as well as non-deliverable forwards; and operates a proprietary foreign exchange desk that arbitrages the exchange-traded foreign exchange markets with the cash markets. The company was formerly known as International Assets Holding Corporation and changed its name to INTL FCStone Inc. in March 2011. INTL FCStone Inc. was founded in 1924 and is based in New York, New York.

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