Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ: HURN) and ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, valuation and earnings.

Volatility & Risk

Huron Consulting Group has a beta of 0.16, meaning that its stock price is 84% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, ICF International has a beta of 0.84, meaning that its stock price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Huron Consulting Group and ICF International, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Huron Consulting Group 0 3 1 0 2.25
ICF International 0 2 3 0 2.60

Huron Consulting Group presently has a consensus price target of $69.00, suggesting a potential upside of 60.09%. ICF International has a consensus price target of $57.00, suggesting a potential upside of 23.51%. Given Huron Consulting Group’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Huron Consulting Group is more favorable than ICF International.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Huron Consulting Group and ICF International’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Huron Consulting Group $734.63 million 1.25 $128.80 million $1.72 25.06
ICF International $1.20 billion 0.72 $112.66 million $2.42 19.07

Huron Consulting Group has higher revenue, but lower earnings than ICF International. ICF International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Huron Consulting Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

88.4% of Huron Consulting Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 91.2% of ICF International shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.7% of Huron Consulting Group shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.5% of ICF International shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Huron Consulting Group and ICF International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Huron Consulting Group 4.58% 10.43% 5.66%
ICF International 3.91% 10.32% 5.23%

About Huron Consulting Group

Huron Consulting Group Inc. is a global professional services firm. The Company offers solutions in operations, advisory services, technology and analytics for healthcare, higher education, life sciences and commercial sectors. The Company’s segments include Healthcare, Education and Life Sciences, and Business Advisory. Its Healthcare segment provides advisory services, from strategy setting through implementation, in the areas of organizational and resource alignment, clinical transformation, financial and operational performance, patient and caregiver engagement, and technology implementation and optimization. Its Education and Life Sciences segment provides management consulting and technology solutions to the higher education and academic medical centers, pharmaceutical and medical device, biotechnology and research industries. The Business Advisory segment’s primary service lines include Enterprise Solutions and Analytics, and Business Advisory.

About ICF International

ICF International, Inc. provides professional services and technology-based solutions to government and commercial clients, including management, technology, and policy consulting and implementation services. The Company’s services address four markets: energy, environment and infrastructure; health, education and social programs; safety and security, and consumer and financial. Its services include research and analytic services, assessment and advisory services, design and management services, solution identification and implementation services, and engagement services. The Company researches policy, industry and stakeholder issues, trends and behavior. The Company collects and analyzes various data to understand issues and options for its clients. The Company measures and evaluates results and their impact and, based on those assessments, the Company provides advice to its clients on how to navigate societal, market, business, communication and technology challenges.

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