Materialise (NASDAQ: MTLS) and Epocrates (NASDAQ:EPOC) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, risk, institutional ownership and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Materialise and Epocrates, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Materialise 0 0 4 0 3.00
Epocrates 0 0 0 0 N/A

Materialise currently has a consensus target price of $15.50, suggesting a potential upside of 26.02%. Given Materialise’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Materialise is more favorable than Epocrates.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Materialise and Epocrates’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Materialise $120.67 million 4.82 -$3.34 million ($0.07) -175.69
Epocrates N/A N/A N/A ($0.30) -39.10

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

12.0% of Materialise shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Materialise and Epocrates’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Materialise -2.07% -3.45% -1.55%
Epocrates N/A N/A N/A

Summary

Materialise beats Epocrates on 5 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

Materialise Company Profile

Materialise NV is a Belgium-based company engaged in the software industry. The Company is a provider of additive manufacturing software and of three dimensional (3D) printing services. Materialise NV incorporates of 3D printing experience into a range of software solution and 3D printing services, through which the Company seeks to form the backbone of the 3D printing industry. Its solutions enable players in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design, and consumer goods, to build 3D printing applications. The Company operates in the domestic market and worldwide, including Colombia, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Austria, Poland, Germany and France, among others.

Epocrates Company Profile

Epocrates, Inc. (Epocrates) is a provider of mobile drug reference tools and electronic health records to healthcare professionals and interactive services to the healthcare industry. As of December 31, 2011, its user network consists of well over one million healthcare professionals, including approximately 340,000, or more than 50% of United States physicians. The Company offers its products on major United States mobile platforms, including Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Epocrates operates in two segments: Subscriptions and Interactive Services, and Electronic Health Records. It uses brand names include DocAlert, Epocrates, Epocrates Honors, Epocrates ID, Epocrates Lab, Epocrates MedTools, Epocrates Rx, Epocrates Rx Pro, Epocrates Dx, Epocrates QuickSurvey, Epocrates QuickRecruit, Epocrates MedInsight, EssentialPoints and MedCafe. In October 2011, it launched a redesign of the drug reference tool to create a new platform that provides healthcare professionals.

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