Head to Head Analysis: Accenture (ACN) versus Actua (ACTA)

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Actua (NASDAQ:ACTA) are both business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, risk, dividends, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Volatility and Risk

Accenture has a beta of 1.08, suggesting that its share price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Actua has a beta of 1.67, suggesting that its share price is 67% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

72.5% of Accenture shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 72.5% of Actua shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of Accenture shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.2% of Actua shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Accenture and Actua, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Accenture 2 8 12 0 2.45
Actua 0 1 0 0 2.00

Accenture currently has a consensus target price of $144.05, indicating a potential downside of 4.31%. Actua has a consensus target price of $17.00, indicating a potential upside of 10.03%. Given Actua’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Actua is more favorable than Accenture.

Profitability

This table compares Accenture and Actua’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Accenture 9.37% 42.65% 17.82%
Actua 67.78% -5.80% -4.62%

Dividends

Accenture pays an annual dividend of $2.66 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Actua does not pay a dividend. Accenture pays out 48.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Actua has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Accenture and Actua’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Accenture $36.77 billion 2.70 $3.45 billion $5.44 27.67
Actua $109.30 million 4.63 $70.08 million $2.21 6.99

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

About Accenture

Accenture plc is a professional services company serving clients in various industries and in geographic regions, including North America, Europe and Growth Markets. The Company provides management and technology consulting services. Its segments include Communications, Media and Technology; Financial Services; Health and Public Service; Products, and Resources. The Communications, Media & Technology segment serves communications, electronics, technology, media and entertainment industries. The Financial Services segment serves banking, capital markets and insurance industries. The Health & Public service segment serves healthcare payers and providers, and government departments and agencies, public service organizations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. The Products segment serves a set of interconnected consumer-relevant industries. The Resources segment serves chemicals, energy, forest products, metals and mining, utilities and related industries.

About Actua

Actua Corporation, formerly ICG Group, Inc., is a multi-vertical cloud technology company. The Company operates through two segments, which include the vertical cloud segment and the vertical cloud (venture) segment. The Company’s vertical cloud-based businesses include Bolt Solutions Inc. (Bolt), Folio Dynamics Holdings Inc. (FolioDynamix), GovDelivery Holdings, Inc. (GovDelivery) and VelocityEHS Holdings, Inc. (VelocityEHS), which operate in the commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, wealth management, government communications and environmental, health and safety (EH&S) markets, respectively. The vertical cloud (venture) businesses include InstaMed Holdings, Inc. (InstaMed) and Parchment Inc. (Parchment), which operate a cloud-based healthcare payments network and an education credentials technology, respectively.

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