United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE: USM) and Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ:VOD) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, dividends and institutional ownership.

Dividends

Vodafone Group PLC pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.6%. United States Cellular Corporation does not pay a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares United States Cellular Corporation and Vodafone Group PLC’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United States Cellular Corporation 1.26% 1.12% 0.58%
Vodafone Group PLC N/A N/A N/A

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares United States Cellular Corporation and Vodafone Group PLC’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
United States Cellular Corporation $3.88 billion 0.85 $625.00 million $0.58 66.69
Vodafone Group PLC N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

United States Cellular Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Vodafone Group PLC.

Volatility and Risk

United States Cellular Corporation has a beta of 0.82, suggesting that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vodafone Group PLC has a beta of 0.52, suggesting that its stock price is 48% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for United States Cellular Corporation and Vodafone Group PLC, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United States Cellular Corporation 1 2 0 0 1.67
Vodafone Group PLC 1 4 7 1 2.62

United States Cellular Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $35.50, suggesting a potential downside of 8.22%. Vodafone Group PLC has a consensus target price of $31.52, suggesting a potential upside of 8.58%. Given Vodafone Group PLC’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Vodafone Group PLC is more favorable than United States Cellular Corporation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

14.8% of United States Cellular Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 10.2% of Vodafone Group PLC shares are held by institutional investors. 1.6% of United States Cellular Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Vodafone Group PLC shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

United States Cellular Corporation beats Vodafone Group PLC on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

United States Cellular Corporation Company Profile

United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular) is a provider of wireless telecommunication services. The Company’s wireless operating markets are in the United States. U.S. Cellular provides service to postpaid and prepaid customers from a range of demographic segments. The Company focuses on retail consumers, government and small-to-mid-size business customers in industries, such as construction, retail, professional services and real estate. The Company offers a range of wireless devices, such as handsets, modems, mobile hotspots, home phones and tablets for use by its customers. U.S. Cellular offers wireless devices that are compatible with fourth generation long term evolution (4G LTE) and third generation (3G) networks. U.S. Cellular offers a range of accessories, such as carrying cases, hands-free devices, batteries, battery chargers, and memory cards to related consumer electronics, such as headphones, speakers and Bluetooth keyboards.

Vodafone Group PLC Company Profile

Vodafone Group Plc (Vodafone) is a telecommunications company. The Company’s business is organized into two geographic regions: Europe, and Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific (AMAP). Its segments include Europe and AMAP. Its Europe segment includes geographic regions, such as Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain and Other Europe. The Other Europe includes the Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Hungary and Romania, among others. Its AMAP segment includes India, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho, Africa, Turkey, Australia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, New Zealand and Qatar, among others. The Company provides a range of services, including voice, messaging and data across mobile and fixed networks. The Company acquires spectrum and licenses to use radio frequencies that deliver mobile services. Its fixed capabilities include cable, fiber and copper networks to enable television, broadband and voice services.

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