United Rentals (NYSE: URI) and Vantiv (NYSE:VNTV) are both large-cap construction companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, profitability and valuation.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

93.8% of United Rentals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.2% of Vantiv shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.2% of United Rentals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of Vantiv shares are owned by company 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.

Volatility & Risk

United Rentals has a beta of 2.46, indicating that its stock price is 146% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vantiv has a beta of 0.61, indicating that its stock price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for United Rentals and Vantiv, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United Rentals 1 4 10 0 2.60
Vantiv 0 10 17 0 2.63

United Rentals currently has a consensus target price of $132.25, indicating a potential downside of 7.02%. Vantiv has a consensus target price of $75.25, indicating a potential upside of 6.26%. Given Vantiv’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Vantiv is more favorable than United Rentals.

Profitability

This table compares United Rentals and Vantiv’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United Rentals 9.86% 46.01% 6.42%
Vantiv 5.58% 33.54% 8.00%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares United Rentals and Vantiv’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
United Rentals $5.98 billion 2.01 $1.75 billion $6.89 20.64
Vantiv $3.80 billion 3.01 $880.01 million $1.29 54.90

United Rentals has higher revenue and earnings than Vantiv. United Rentals is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Vantiv, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

About United Rentals

United Rentals, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is an equipment rental company, which operates throughout the United States and Canada. It operates through two segments: general rentals, and trench, power and pump. The general rentals segment includes the rental of construction, aerial, industrial and homeowner equipment and related services and activities. The trench, power and pump segment includes the rental of specialty construction products and related services. Its general rentals segment includes the rental of general construction and industrial equipment, such as backhoes, skid-steer loaders, forklifts and material handling equipment; aerial work platforms, such as boom lifts and scissor lifts, and general tools and light equipment, such as pressure washers, water pumps and power tools. As of January 1, 2017, it operated 887 rental locations. The Company conducts its operations through its subsidiary, United Rentals (North America), Inc. (URNA) and subsidiaries of URNA.

About Vantiv

Vantiv, Inc. is a holding company. The Company conducts its operations through its subsidiary, Vantiv Holding, LLC. The Company is a payment processor. The Company’s segments include Merchant Services and Financial Institution Services. The Company offers a range of payment processing services that enable its clients to meet their payment processing needs through a single provider. The Company enables merchants to accept and process credit, debit and prepaid payments, and provide them supporting value-added services, such as security solutions and fraud management, information solutions and interchange management. It also provides payment services to financial institutions, such as card issuer processing, payment network processing, fraud protection, card production, prepaid program management, automated teller machine (ATM) driving and network gateway and switching services that utilize the Company’s Jeanie personal identification number (PIN) debit payment network.

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