Cardtronics PLC (NASDAQ: CATM) and General Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:GFN) are both small-cap business support services – nec companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Cardtronics PLC and General Finance Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cardtronics PLC -9.37% 29.32% 7.19%
General Finance Corporation -0.73% -1.29% -0.31%

Risk and Volatility

Cardtronics PLC has a beta of 0.75, meaning that its stock price is 25% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, General Finance Corporation has a beta of 1.23, meaning that its stock price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cardtronics PLC and General Finance Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cardtronics PLC $1.27 billion 0.61 $87.99 million ($2.99) -5.68
General Finance Corporation $276.93 million 0.61 -$2.96 million ($0.21) -30.00

Cardtronics PLC has higher revenue and earnings than General Finance Corporation. General Finance Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cardtronics PLC, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

19.0% of General Finance Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.2% of Cardtronics PLC shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 25.9% of General Finance Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Cardtronics PLC and General Finance Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cardtronics PLC 0 3 2 0 2.40
General Finance Corporation 0 1 1 0 2.50

Cardtronics PLC currently has a consensus target price of $37.00, suggesting a potential upside of 117.78%. General Finance Corporation has a consensus target price of $9.20, suggesting a potential upside of 46.03%. Given Cardtronics PLC’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Cardtronics PLC is more favorable than General Finance Corporation.

Summary

Cardtronics PLC beats General Finance Corporation on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cardtronics PLC

Cardtronics plc, formerly Cardtronics, Inc., provides automated consumer financial services through its network of automated teller machines (ATMS) and multi-function financial services kiosks. The Company’s operations consists of its North America, Europe, and Corporate & Other segments. Its ATM operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico are included in its North America segment. Its ATM operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Spain and i-design are included in its Europe segment. Its transaction processing operations, which service its North American and European operations, along with external customers, and the Company’s corporate general and administrative functions comprise the Corporate & Other segment. As of December 31, 2016, it provided services to approximately 203,000 ATMs throughout the United States (including the United States territory of Puerto Rico), the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Spain, Canada and Mexico.

About General Finance Corporation

General Finance Corporation is a specialty rental services company. The Company offers a range of portable storage units, including its core 20-feet and 40-feet steel containers, office container, mobile office and modular space products and steel tanks. It has two geographic areas that include its four operating segments: the Asia-Pacific area, consisting of the leasing operations of Royal Wolf Holdings Limited and its Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries (Royal Wolf), and North America, consisting of the combined leasing operations of Pac-Van, Inc. and its Canadian subsidiary, PV Acquisition Corp. (Pac-Van) and Lone Star Tank Rental Inc. (Lone Star), and the manufacturing operations of GFN Manufacturing Corporation and its subsidiary, Southern Frac, LLC (Southern Frac). As of June 30, 2016, the Company provided its storage solutions to over 41,000 customers across a range of industries, including commercial, construction, retail, transportation, education and others.

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