Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS) and Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) are both large-cap business services companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends and earnings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

96.0% of Alliance Data Systems Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 64.8% of Cintas Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 2.6% of Alliance Data Systems Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 18.9% of Cintas Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Alliance Data Systems Corporation and Cintas Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alliance Data Systems Corporation 6.77% 59.67% 3.74%
Cintas Corporation 9.79% 23.71% 9.70%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Alliance Data Systems Corporation and Cintas Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alliance Data Systems Corporation 3 7 10 0 2.35
Cintas Corporation 1 7 3 0 2.18

Alliance Data Systems Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $253.44, suggesting a potential upside of 14.39%. Cintas Corporation has a consensus price target of $139.33, suggesting a potential downside of 3.43%. Given Alliance Data Systems Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Alliance Data Systems Corporation is more favorable than Cintas Corporation.

Risk & Volatility

Alliance Data Systems Corporation has a beta of 1.76, indicating that its stock price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cintas Corporation has a beta of 0.85, indicating that its stock price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Alliance Data Systems Corporation and Cintas Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alliance Data Systems Corporation $7.41 billion 1.66 $1.47 billion $8.78 25.23
Cintas Corporation $5.67 billion 2.70 $1.12 billion $5.08 28.40

Alliance Data Systems Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Cintas Corporation. Alliance Data Systems Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cintas Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Alliance Data Systems Corporation pays an annual dividend of $2.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Cintas Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.33 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Alliance Data Systems Corporation pays out 23.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cintas Corporation pays out 26.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Alliance Data Systems Corporation has increased its dividend for 34 consecutive years. Alliance Data Systems Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Alliance Data Systems Corporation beats Cintas Corporation on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Alliance Data Systems Corporation

Alliance Data Systems Corporation is a provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving consumer-based businesses in a range of industries. The Company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs. The Company operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, which provides coalition and short-term loyalty programs through the Company’s Canadian AIR MILES Reward Program and BrandLoyalty Group B.V. (BrandLoyalty); Epsilon, which provides end-to-end, integrated direct marketing solutions, and Card Services, which provides risk management solutions, account origination, funding, transaction processing, customer care, collections and marketing services for the Company’s private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.

About Cintas Corporation

Cintas Corporation is a provider of corporate identity uniforms through rental and sales programs, as well as a provider of related business services, including entrance mats, restroom cleaning services and supplies, carpet and tile cleaning services, first aid and safety services and fire protection products and services. Its segments include uniform rental and facility services, and first aid and safety services. Its uniform rental and facility service segment offers services, which include rental and servicing of uniforms and other garments, including flame resistant clothing, mats, mops and shop towels, and other ancillary items. Its first aid and safety service segment offers services, which include first aid and safety products and services. Rental processing plants, rental branches, first aid and safety facilities, fire protection facilities, direct sales offices, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities are all utilized by the businesses included in All Other.

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