Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ: HURN) and WageWorks (NYSE:WAGE) are both business services companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, profitabiliy, earnings, valuation and institutional ownership.

Risk & Volatility

Huron Consulting Group has a beta of 0.16, meaning that its share price is 84% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, WageWorks has a beta of 1.06, meaning that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Huron Consulting Group and WageWorks, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Huron Consulting Group 0 3 1 0 2.25
WageWorks 0 1 5 0 2.83

Huron Consulting Group currently has a consensus target price of $69.00, suggesting a potential upside of 62.93%. WageWorks has a consensus target price of $77.24, suggesting a potential upside of 10.82%. Given Huron Consulting Group’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Huron Consulting Group is more favorable than WageWorks.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Huron Consulting Group and WageWorks’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Huron Consulting Group $734.63 million 1.22 $128.80 million $1.72 24.62
WageWorks $402.72 million 6.44 $73.56 million $0.68 102.50

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

88.4% of Huron Consulting Group shares are held by institutional investors. 2.7% of Huron Consulting Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of WageWorks shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Huron Consulting Group and WageWorks’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Huron Consulting Group 4.58% 10.43% 5.66%
WageWorks 6.33% 9.85% 3.28%

Huron Consulting Group Company Profile

Huron Consulting Group Inc. is a global professional services firm. The Company offers solutions in operations, advisory services, technology and analytics for healthcare, higher education, life sciences and commercial sectors. The Company’s segments include Healthcare, Education and Life Sciences, and Business Advisory. Its Healthcare segment provides advisory services, from strategy setting through implementation, in the areas of organizational and resource alignment, clinical transformation, financial and operational performance, patient and caregiver engagement, and technology implementation and optimization. Its Education and Life Sciences segment provides management consulting and technology solutions to the higher education and academic medical centers, pharmaceutical and medical device, biotechnology and research industries. The Business Advisory segment’s primary service lines include Enterprise Solutions and Analytics, and Business Advisory.

WageWorks Company Profile

WageWorks, Inc. is engaged in administering Consumer-Directed Benefits (CDBs). The Company administers CBDs, including pre-tax spending accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), health and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), as well as Commuter Benefit Services, including transit and parking programs, wellness programs, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and other employee benefits. Its CDB programs assist employees and their families in saving money by using pre-tax dollars to pay for certain of their healthcare, dependent care and commuter expenses. Employers financially benefit from its programs through reduced payroll taxes. It provides operational support services to its clients and its cross-functional teams, including customer support and claims processing. It administers HSAs for employers that allow employee participants to invest funds to be used for qualified healthcare expenses.

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