The Hackett Group (NASDAQ: HCKT) and Navigant Consulting (NYSE:NCI) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, profitabiliy and institutional ownership.

Volatility and Risk

The Hackett Group has a beta of 0.77, meaning that its share price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Navigant Consulting has a beta of 0.86, meaning that its share price is 14% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

84.4% of The Hackett Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.1% of Navigant Consulting shares are owned by institutional investors. 19.0% of The Hackett Group shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Navigant Consulting 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.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares The Hackett Group and Navigant Consulting’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
The Hackett Group $263.00 million 1.81 $40.34 million $0.77 21.13
Navigant Consulting $951.48 million 0.99 $142.73 million $1.16 17.13

Navigant Consulting has higher revenue and earnings than The Hackett Group. Navigant Consulting is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than The Hackett Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for The Hackett Group and Navigant Consulting, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
The Hackett Group 0 2 3 0 2.60
Navigant Consulting 0 0 1 0 3.00

The Hackett Group presently has a consensus price target of $19.25, suggesting a potential upside of 18.32%. Navigant Consulting has a consensus price target of $24.00, suggesting a potential upside of 20.79%. Given Navigant Consulting’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Navigant Consulting is more favorable than The Hackett Group.

Profitability

This table compares The Hackett Group and Navigant Consulting’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
The Hackett Group 8.60% 28.73% 15.56%
Navigant Consulting 5.53% 9.83% 5.88%

Dividends

The Hackett Group pays an annual dividend of $0.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Navigant Consulting does not pay a dividend. The Hackett Group pays out 39.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

The Hackett Group Company Profile

The Hackett Group, Inc. is an advisory and technology consulting company. The Company’s services include business transformation, enterprise performance management, working capital management and global business services. The Company is engaged in providing business and technology consulting services. It focuses on business strategy, operations, finance, human capital management, strategic sourcing, procurement, and information technology, including Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and SAP practices. It offers a range of services, including executive advisory programs, benchmarking, business transformation and technology consulting services. Its advisory programs include a mix of the deliverables, such as Best Practice Intelligence Center, Best Practice Accelerators, Advisor Inquiry, Best Practice Research and Peer Interaction. Its Business Transformation programs help clients develop a coordinated strategy for achieving performance improvements across the enterprise.

Navigant Consulting Company Profile

Navigant Consulting, Inc. is a global professional services company. The Company serves clients in the healthcare, energy and financial services industries. It operates through four segments. The Healthcare segment provides consulting services and business process management services. The Energy segment provides advisory solutions in business strategy and planning, distributed energy resources and renewables, energy efficiency and demand response and grid modernization The Financial Services Advisory and Compliance segment provides strategic, operational, valuation, risk management, investigative and compliance advisory services to clients primarily in the financial services industry. The Disputes, Forensics & Legal Technology segment offers professional services, including valuation and economic analysis, as well as accounting, regulatory, construction and computer forensic expertise.

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