Communications Systems (NASDAQ:JCS) and AltiGen Communications (OTCMKTS:ATGN) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Communications Systems and AltiGen Communications, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Communications Systems 0 0 0 0 N/A
AltiGen Communications 0 0 0 0 N/A

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Communications Systems and AltiGen Communications’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Communications Systems $82.32 million 0.24 -$11.82 million ($0.15) -14.67
AltiGen Communications $8.39 million 1.58 $380,000.00 N/A N/A

AltiGen Communications has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Communications Systems.

Dividends

Communications Systems pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.3%. AltiGen Communications does not pay a dividend. Communications Systems pays out -106.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk & Volatility

Communications Systems has a beta of 0.67, meaning that its share price is 33% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, AltiGen Communications has a beta of -0.86, meaning that its share price is 186% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Communications Systems and AltiGen Communications’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Communications Systems -11.71% -16.87% -13.89%
AltiGen Communications 11.46% 97.86% 25.43%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

29.2% of Communications Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. 17.5% of Communications Systems shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 14.0% of AltiGen Communications shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

About Communications Systems

Communications Systems, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells connectivity infrastructure products for broadband and voice communications in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and internationally. The company's Suttle segment provides enclosure systems to support premise distribution of broadband and other connectivity networks; fiber optic management and connectivity solutions for access and premise networks; and modular connecting products for copper telecommunications networks, as well as DSL products that support broadband connectivity to copper networks under the Suttle brand name. This segment serves telephone companies, electrical/low-voltage contractors, home builders, cable customers, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) directly, as well as through distributors. Its Transition Networks segment designs, assembles, and markets media converters, NIDs, network interface cards, Ethernet switches, small form factor pluggable modules, and other connectivity products under the Transition Networks brand name. This segment sells its products through distributors, resellers, integrators, and OEMs to the federal government, enterprise, service provider, industrial, security, and surveillance markets. The company's JDL Technologies segment offers IT managed services; network design, deployment, and integration; cloud, hosted, and virtualization services; and remote support and management services. This segment serves education, healthcare, and commercial markets. Its Net2Edge segment designs, manufactures, and markets carrier Ethernet based network access devices and software under the Liberator brand name. This segment serves government, enterprise, utility, industrial, and surveillance markets, as well as service providers through direct touch sales model, and approved partners and integrators. Communications Systems, Inc. was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

About AltiGen Communications

AltiGen Communications, Inc. designs, delivers, and supports Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems and call center solutions worldwide. The company offers MaxCommunications Server (MaxCS) IP-PBX, a software-based phone system that provides customers with business communications solutions; MaxACD VoIP Contact Center, a software-based automatic call distribution engine, which offers call routing and call distribution options; MaxMobile that extends a set of business PBX functionality to smart phone devices; and MaxCommunicator, a Windows-based desktop application, which provides call control and visual voice mail management to the desktop. It also offers MaxAgent, a Windows-based desktop application to bring call control and workgroup information to call center agents; MaxSupervisor, a Windows-based desktop application for call center supervisors; and MaxACD for Lync, a call center solution. In addition, the company provides hosted services; and service support programs, including software assurance programs that offer customers with updates, patches, new releases, and technical support for the applications they are licensed to use. It sells its products to small-to-medium sized and multi-site businesses, corporate branch offices, call centers, credit unions, and community banks through a channel of distributors and resellers. AltiGen Communications, Inc. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

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