NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV) and Autohome (NYSE:ATHM) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, risk, valuation, earnings, profitability and institutional ownership.

Volatility and Risk

NIC has a beta of 0.38, indicating that its stock price is 62% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Autohome has a beta of 2.06, indicating that its stock price is 106% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares NIC and Autohome’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NIC $317.92 million 3.60 $55.83 million $0.81 21.30
Autohome $338.13 million 28.17 $176.85 million $2.07 38.94

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.2% of NIC shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 38.8% of Autohome shares are held by institutional investors. 4.1% of NIC shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.7% of Autohome shares are held 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for NIC and Autohome, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NIC 1 4 1 0 2.00
Autohome 0 0 4 0 3.00

NIC presently has a consensus target price of $19.33, indicating a potential upside of 12.08%. Autohome has a consensus target price of $74.95, indicating a potential downside of 7.02%. Given NIC’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe NIC is more favorable than Autohome.

Dividends

NIC pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Autohome does not pay a dividend. NIC pays out 39.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares NIC and Autohome’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NIC 16.42% 36.89% 22.03%
Autohome 25.52% 23.48% 16.58%

Summary

Autohome beats NIC on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

NIC Company Profile

NIC Inc. is a provider of digital government services that help governments use technology to provide services to businesses and citizens. The Company operates through Outsourced Portals segment. The Company offers its services through two channels: primary outsourced portal businesses, and software and services businesses. In the primary outsourced portal businesses, the Company enters into contracts with state and local governments to design, build, and operate Internet-based, enterprise-wide portals on their behalf. Its software and services businesses include its subsidiaries that provide software development and payment processing services, other than outsourced portal services, to state and local governments, as well as federal agencies. The Company’s outsourced portal businesses include interactive government services (IGS), driver history records (DHR), Portal software development and services, and Portal management.

Autohome Company Profile

Autohome Inc. is an online destination for automobile consumers in China. The Company is engaged in the provision of online advertising and dealer subscription services in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Company, through its Websites, autohome.com.cn and che168.com, and mobile applications, delivers content to automobile buyers and owners. These services are offered to automakers and dealers, and advertising agencies that represent automakers and dealers in the automobile industry. The Company’s autohome.com.cn targets automobile consumers with a focus on new automobiles. The Company’s professionally produced content is created by editorial team and includes automobile-related articles and reviews, pricing trends in various local markets, and photos and video clips. Its database also includes new and used automobile listings and promotional information. Its dealer subscription services allow dealers to market their inventory and services through its Websites.

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