Higher One Holdings (NYSE: ONE) and ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI) are both industrials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Higher One Holdings and ICF International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Higher One Holdings -26.77% -16.36% -10.01%
ICF International 4.02% 10.25% 5.29%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Higher One Holdings and ICF International’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Higher One Holdings N/A N/A N/A $0.16 32.19
ICF International $1.20 billion 0.86 $115.22 million $2.50 22.02

ICF International has higher revenue and earnings than Higher One Holdings. ICF International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Higher One Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Higher One Holdings has a beta of 1.44, meaning that its stock price is 44% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, ICF International has a beta of 0.89, meaning that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

90.3% of ICF International shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.5% of ICF International shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Higher One Holdings and ICF International, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Higher One Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A
ICF International 0 2 3 0 2.60

ICF International has a consensus price target of $60.67, suggesting a potential upside of 10.20%. Given ICF International’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe ICF International is more favorable than Higher One Holdings.

Summary

ICF International beats Higher One Holdings on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Higher One Holdings Company Profile

Higher One Holdings, Inc. is a provider of technology-based payment processing and refund disbursement services to higher education institutions and their students. The Company also provides campus communities with student-oriented banking services, which include user-friendly features, through its bank partners. The Company operates through two segments: Disbursements and Payments. The Disbursements segment includes its Refund Management disbursement service, which is offered to higher education institution clients, and the OneAccount, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured online checking account that is offered to students, as well as faculty, staff and alumni. The Payments segment includes its CASHNet payment processing suite and its Campus Solutions suite, both of which enable higher education institutions to accept online payments, automate certain billing and processing functions, and offer tuition payment plans.

ICF International Company Profile

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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