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

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Navigant Consulting $951.48 million 0.97 $142.73 million $1.16 16.91
The Hackett Group $263.00 million 1.71 $40.34 million $0.77 19.94

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.

Risk and Volatility

Navigant Consulting has a beta of 0.87, suggesting that its share price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, The Hackett Group has a beta of 0.79, suggesting that its share price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

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

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

Dividends

The Hackett Group pays an annual dividend of $0.26 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Navigant Consulting does not pay a dividend. The Hackett Group pays out 33.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

92.8% of Navigant Consulting shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.6% of The Hackett Group shares are held by institutional investors. 2.4% of Navigant Consulting shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 19.0% of The Hackett Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Navigant Consulting and The Hackett Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

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

Navigant Consulting currently has a consensus target price of $24.00, suggesting a potential upside of 22.32%. The Hackett Group has a consensus target price of $19.25, suggesting a potential upside of 25.41%. Given The Hackett Group’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe The Hackett Group is more favorable than Navigant Consulting.

Summary

The Hackett Group beats Navigant Consulting on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

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.

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