EZCORP (NASDAQ: EZPW) and LendingTree (NASDAQ:TREE) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, earnings, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for EZCORP and LendingTree, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
EZCORP 0 3 1 0 2.25
LendingTree 0 0 12 0 3.00

EZCORP presently has a consensus price target of $9.25, indicating a potential downside of 1.60%. LendingTree has a consensus price target of $188.91, indicating a potential downside of 27.10%. Given EZCORP’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe EZCORP is more favorable than LendingTree.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

89.4% of EZCORP shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.7% of LendingTree shares are held by institutional investors. 2.1% of EZCORP shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 21.9% of LendingTree shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares EZCORP and LendingTree’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
EZCORP 3.16% 3.65% 2.29%
LendingTree 5.85% 17.01% 10.47%

Risk & Volatility

EZCORP has a beta of 1.96, meaning that its share price is 96% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, LendingTree has a beta of 1.56, meaning that its share price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares EZCORP and LendingTree’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
EZCORP $750.47 million 0.68 $67.71 million $0.44 21.36
LendingTree $480.69 million 6.47 $73.26 million $2.14 121.10

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

Summary

LendingTree beats EZCORP on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About EZCORP

EZCORP, Inc. provides pawn loans in the United States and Mexico, and consumer loans in Mexico. The Company operates through three segments: U.S. Pawn, which includes its EZPAWN, Value Pawn & Jewelry and other branded pawn operations in the United States; Mexico Pawn, which includes its Empeno Facil pawn operations and cash converters buy/sell store operations in Mexico, and Other International, which includes its CASHMAX financial services operations in Canada and its equity interest in Cash Converters International. It offers pawn loans, which are non-recourse loans, collateralized by tangible property, and it sells merchandise, primarily collateral forfeited from pawn lending operations and used merchandise purchased from customers at its pawn stores.

About LendingTree

LendingTree, Inc. (LendingTree) is engaged in operating an online loan marketplace for consumers seeking loans and other credit-based offerings. The Company’s online marketplace provides consumers with access to product offerings from various lenders, which it refers to as Network Lenders, including mortgage loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, reverse mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards, personal loans, student loans, small business loans and other related offerings. In addition, the Company offers tools and resources, including free credit scores that facilitate comparison shopping for these loans and other credit-based offerings. The Company offers its products in categories, including mortgage products and non-mortgage products. Its mortgage products category includes its purchase and refinance products. Its non-mortgage products include lending products and other products.

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