On Assignment (NYSE: ASGN) and Kforce (NASDAQ:KFRC) are both business services companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitabiliy, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

91.2% of On Assignment shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.7% of Kforce shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.4% of On Assignment shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 13.3% of Kforce shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for On Assignment and Kforce, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
On Assignment 0 0 2 0 3.00
Kforce 0 3 2 0 2.40

On Assignment presently has a consensus price target of $56.00, suggesting a potential upside of 3.51%. Kforce has a consensus price target of $23.67, suggesting a potential upside of 19.83%. Given Kforce’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Kforce is more favorable than On Assignment.

Dividends

Kforce pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. On Assignment does not pay a dividend. Kforce pays out 35.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility & Risk

On Assignment has a beta of 2.15, indicating that its share price is 115% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Kforce has a beta of 1.55, indicating that its share price is 55% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares On Assignment and Kforce’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
On Assignment $2.48 billion 1.15 $256.09 million $1.90 28.47
Kforce $1.33 billion 0.37 $73.79 million $1.34 14.74

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

Profitability

This table compares On Assignment and Kforce’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
On Assignment 4.11% 17.30% 8.49%
Kforce 2.63% 29.68% 10.08%

Summary

On Assignment beats Kforce on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

On Assignment Company Profile

On Assignment, Inc. is a global provider of in-demand, skilled professionals in the technology, life sciences and creative sectors. The Company matches resumes with job descriptions to match people they know into positions they understand for temporary, contract-to-hire, and direct hire assignments. It operates through two segments. The Apex segment provides technical, scientific and creative professionals for temporary, contract-to-hire and permanent placement positions and consulting services to clients across the United States. The Apex segment includes Apex Systems, Lab Support and Creative Circle. The Oxford segment provides specialized niche staffing, permanent placement and consulting services in select skill and geographic markets. The Oxford segment includes Oxford Global Resources, CyberCoders and Life Sciences Europe. The Company has a network of branch offices throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

Kforce Company Profile

Kforce Inc. (Kforce) is engaged in providing professional and technical specialty staffing services and solutions. The Company operates through three segments, which include Technology (Tech), Finance and Accounting (FA) and Government Solutions (GS). The Company’s Tech segment includes the operations of its subsidiary Kforce Global Solutions, Inc. The FA segment is engaged in providing both temporary staffing and permanent placement services to its clients in areas, such as general accounting, business analysis and others. The GS segment is engaged in providing services and solutions to the Federal Government as both a prime contractor and a subcontractor in the fields of information technology, and finance and accounting. Kforce operates through field offices located throughout the United States and one office in Manila, the Philippines. The Company offers various staffing services that consist of temporary staffing services (Flex) and permanent placement services (Direct Hire).

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