Guidance Software (NASDAQ: GUID) and VASCO Data Security International (NASDAQ:VDSI) are both small-cap technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, risk, valuation and earnings.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

51.8% of Guidance Software shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 52.1% of VASCO Data Security International shares are owned by institutional investors. 38.1% of Guidance Software shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 25.4% of VASCO Data Security International shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Guidance Software and VASCO Data Security International, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Guidance Software 0 3 3 0 2.50
VASCO Data Security International 0 0 2 0 3.00

Guidance Software currently has a consensus target price of $8.02, indicating a potential upside of 13.44%. VASCO Data Security International has a consensus target price of $17.00, indicating a potential upside of 21.00%. Given VASCO Data Security International’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe VASCO Data Security International is more favorable than Guidance Software.

Profitability

This table compares Guidance Software and VASCO Data Security International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Guidance Software -4.73% -559.09% -6.73%
VASCO Data Security International 4.53% 6.25% 4.93%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Guidance Software and VASCO Data Security International’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Guidance Software N/A N/A N/A ($0.24) -29.46
VASCO Data Security International $192.30 million 2.93 $10.51 million $0.21 66.91

VASCO Data Security International has higher revenue and earnings than Guidance Software. Guidance Software is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than VASCO Data Security International, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

VASCO Data Security International beats Guidance Software on 8 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Guidance Software Company Profile

Guidance Software, Inc. is a technology company. The Company is a provider of endpoint investigation solutions for cybersecurity analytics, security incident response, e-discovery, data privacy and forensic analysis. The Company has five segments, which include Products, Subscription, Professional services, Training and Maintenance. The Company’s Products segment includes EnCase, EnCase Endpoint Security, EnCase eDiscovery, EnCase Forensic, EnCase Portable, Premium License Support Program and hardware sales. Its Subscription segment includes subscription services for cloud-based document review and production software. Its Professional services segment performs consulting services and implementations. Its Training segment provides training classes, by which the Company trains its customers to use its software products. Its maintenance segment provides software updates, telephone and e-mail support.

VASCO Data Security International Company Profile

VASCO Data Security International, Inc. designs, develops and markets digital solutions for identity, security and business productivity that protect and facilitate transactions online, via mobile devices, and in-person. The Company provides anti-fraud and digital transaction management solutions to financial institutions and other businesses. Its solutions secure access to data, assets, and applications for global enterprises; provide tools for application developers to easily integrate security functions into their Web-based and mobile applications, and facilitate digital transactions involving the signing, sending, and managing of documents. It also provides tools for application developers to integrate security functions into their Web-based and mobile applications. It facilitates digital transactions involving the signing, sending and managing of documents. Its security solutions include both open standards-based and solutions.

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