Mimecast Limited (NASDAQ: MIME) and Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Risk and Volatility

Mimecast Limited has a beta of 0.65, suggesting that its share price is 35% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Palo Alto Networks has a beta of 1.02, suggesting that its share price is 2% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

52.9% of Mimecast Limited shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.9% of Palo Alto Networks shares are held by institutional investors. 4.8% of Palo Alto Networks 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 Mimecast Limited and Palo Alto Networks’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mimecast Limited -4.16% -11.28% -4.30%
Palo Alto Networks -12.57% -19.72% -4.89%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Mimecast Limited and Palo Alto Networks, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mimecast Limited 0 1 12 0 2.92
Palo Alto Networks 1 11 29 0 2.68

Mimecast Limited currently has a consensus price target of $32.83, indicating a potential upside of 6.05%. Palo Alto Networks has a consensus price target of $161.18, indicating a potential upside of 14.84%. Given Palo Alto Networks’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Palo Alto Networks is more favorable than Mimecast Limited.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Mimecast Limited and Palo Alto Networks’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mimecast Limited $186.56 million 9.51 -$5.44 million ($0.16) -193.50
Palo Alto Networks $1.76 billion 7.33 -$216.60 million ($2.45) -57.29

Mimecast Limited has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Palo Alto Networks. Mimecast Limited is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Palo Alto Networks, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Mimecast Limited beats Palo Alto Networks on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Mimecast Limited Company Profile

Mimecast Limited is a provider of cloud security and risk management services for corporate information and e-mail. The Company’s suite of cloud services protects customers from the business and data security risks. It also mitigates the business disruption that e-mail failure or downtime causes. In addition, its archiving services secure, store and manage critical corporate communications and information to address the compliance and e-discovery requirements. It has developed its cloud architecture to offer customers e-mail security, continuity and archiving capabilities in a single service. It has developed an operating system (OS) called Mime OS for native cloud services. It protects inbound and outbound e-mail from malware, spam, threats, e-mail denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS), data leaks and other security threats. It also offers service bundles, and Mimecast mobile and desktop applications.

Palo Alto Networks Company Profile

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. offers a next-generation security platform. The Company’s security platform consists of three elements: Next-Generation Firewall, Advanced Endpoint Protection and Threat Intelligence Cloud. Its Next-Generation Firewall delivers application, user and content visibility and control, as well as protection against network-based cyber threats integrated within the firewall through its hardware and software architecture. Its Advanced Endpoint Protection prevents cyber attacks that run malicious code or exploit software vulnerabilities on a range of fixed and virtual endpoints and servers. Its Threat Intelligence Cloud provides central intelligence capabilities, security for software as a service applications and automated delivery of preventative measures against cyber attacks. Its products and services include firewall appliances, panorama, virtual system upgrades, subscription services, support and maintenance, and professional services.

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