Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) and Liberty Global PLC (NASDAQ:LBTYA) are both large-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Charter Communications and Liberty Global PLC’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Charter Communications 10.55% 2.13% 0.72%
Liberty Global PLC 11.98% 14.26% 2.67%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Charter Communications and Liberty Global PLC, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Charter Communications 0 10 12 0 2.55
Liberty Global PLC 0 2 11 0 2.85

Charter Communications presently has a consensus target price of $329.89, indicating a potential upside of 0.01%. Liberty Global PLC has a consensus target price of $41.33, indicating a potential upside of 36.32%. Given Liberty Global PLC’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Liberty Global PLC is more favorable than Charter Communications.

Risk & Volatility

Charter Communications has a beta of 1.11, suggesting that its share price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Liberty Global PLC has a beta of 1.68, suggesting that its share price is 68% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Charter Communications and Liberty Global PLC’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Charter Communications $36.64 billion 2.41 $13.48 billion $17.88 18.45
Liberty Global PLC $19.85 billion 1.57 $8.80 billion $2.17 13.97

Charter Communications has higher revenue and earnings than Liberty Global PLC. Liberty Global PLC is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Charter Communications, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

74.5% of Charter Communications shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 23.6% of Liberty Global PLC shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Charter Communications shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.8% of Liberty Global PLC shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Charter Communications Company Profile

Charter Communications, Inc. (Charter) is a provider of cable services, offering various entertainments, information and communications solutions to residential and commercial customers. The Company’s services include Video Services, Internet Services, Voice Services, Commercial Services and Advertising Services. Its infrastructure consists of a hybrid of fiber and coaxial cable plant with approximately 12.8 million estimated passings, with over 98% at approximately 550 megahertz (MHz) or greater, over 99% of plant miles two-way active and approximately 100% of plant all-digital. It sells its video, Internet and voice services primarily on a subscription basis, often in a bundle of two or more services. It offers Charter Spectrum brand in its all-digital markets. Digital video enables its customers to access advanced video services, such as high definition (HD) television, video on demand programming, an interactive program guide and digital video recorder (DVR) service.

Liberty Global PLC Company Profile

Liberty Global PLC, formerly Liberty Global, Inc., is an international cable company with operations in 14 countries. The Company’s tripleplay services are provided through networks and technology platforms that connect approximately 25 million customers subscribing to over 47 million television, broadband Internet and telephony services. The Company’s consumer brands include Virgin Media, UPC, Unitymedia, Kabel BW, Telenet and VTR. The Company’s operations also include Chellomedia, the Company’s content division, Liberty Global Business Services, a commercial division and Liberty Global Ventures, its investment fund. In June 2013, Liberty Global Inc completed the acquisition of Virgin Media Inc (Virgin Media).

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