Research Frontiers (NASDAQ:REFR) and Patriot Scientific (OTCMKTS:PTSC) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends and risk.

Volatility and Risk

Research Frontiers has a beta of 0.2, meaning that its stock price is 80% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Patriot Scientific has a beta of -0.33, meaning that its stock price is 133% less volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Research Frontiers and Patriot Scientific’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Research Frontiers -194.70% -81.44% -68.97%
Patriot Scientific N/A -44.37% -43.11%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Research Frontiers and Patriot Scientific’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Research Frontiers $1.51 million 22.71 -$2.41 million ($0.10) -12.40
Patriot Scientific N/A N/A -$1.20 million N/A N/A

Patriot Scientific has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Research Frontiers.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

6.3% of Research Frontiers shares are owned by institutional investors. 9.5% of Research Frontiers shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Patriot Scientific shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Research Frontiers and Patriot Scientific, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Research Frontiers 0 0 1 0 3.00
Patriot Scientific 0 0 0 0 N/A

Research Frontiers currently has a consensus target price of $3.00, indicating a potential upside of 141.94%. Given Research Frontiers’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Research Frontiers is more favorable than Patriot Scientific.


Research Frontiers beats Patriot Scientific on 6 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Research Frontiers

Research Frontiers Incorporated develops and markets technology and devices to control the flow of light in the United States. The company develops and licenses suspended particle device (SPD-Smart) light-control technology to companies that manufacture and market the SPD-Smart chemical emulsion, light-control film made from the chemical emulsion, the light-control panels made by laminating the film, lamination services, and electronics to power end-products incorporating the film, as well as the end-products, such as windows, skylights, and sunroofs. Its SPD-Smart light-control technology is used in various product applications, including windows, sunshades, skylights, and interior partitions for homes and buildings; automotive windows, sunroofs, sun-visors, sunshades, rear-view mirrors, instrument panels, and navigation systems; aircraft windows; museum display panels and eyewear products; and flat panel displays for electronic products. The company serves aerospace, architectural, automotive, and marine industries. Research Frontiers Incorporated was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Woodbury, New York.

About Patriot Scientific

Patriot Scientific Corporation focuses on commercializing microprocessor technologies through broad and open licensing. The company was founded in 1987 and is based in Carlsbad, California.

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