NetScout Systems (NASDAQ: NTCT) and Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, risk, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for NetScout Systems and Limelight Networks, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NetScout Systems 0 2 1 0 2.33
Limelight Networks 0 1 3 0 2.75

NetScout Systems currently has a consensus target price of $37.50, indicating a potential upside of 10.13%. Limelight Networks has a consensus target price of $3.43, indicating a potential downside of 6.45%. Given NetScout Systems’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe NetScout Systems is more favorable than Limelight Networks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

68.2% of Limelight Networks shares are held by institutional investors. 3.5% of NetScout Systems shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 37.6% of Limelight Networks shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

NetScout Systems has a beta of 1.61, indicating that its stock price is 61% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Limelight Networks has a beta of 2.49, indicating that its stock price is 149% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares NetScout Systems and Limelight Networks’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NetScout Systems 1.60% 5.53% 3.77%
Limelight Networks -8.65% -5.03% -3.39%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares NetScout Systems and Limelight Networks’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NetScout Systems $1.12 billion 2.77 $203.73 million $0.19 179.22
Limelight Networks $173.36 million 2.31 $6.99 million ($0.14) -26.21

NetScout Systems has higher revenue and earnings than Limelight Networks. Limelight Networks is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than NetScout Systems, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

NetScout Systems beats Limelight Networks on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

NetScout Systems Company Profile

NetScout Systems, Inc. (NetScout) provides operational intelligence and performance analytics for service assurance and cyber security solutions. The Company’s solutions are used in various service provider, enterprise and government networks. Its nGenius and Infinistream technologies, along with certain product lines from the acquired businesses, enable information technology (IT) organizations to manage service delivery quality, and identify and address business service performance issues and security threats. The Company’s manufacturing operations consist of final product assembly, configuration and testing. The Company’s nGeniusONE Service Assurance Solution is used to support NetScout’s enterprise, service provider and government customers. The Company’s Intelligent Data Sources, marketed under the Infinistream brand, provide collection and analysis of high-volume packet-flow data from across the network that is displayed through the nGeniusONE Service Assurance Solution.

Limelight Networks Company Profile

Limelight Networks, Inc. operates a distributed network and provides a suite of integrated services marketed as the Limelight Orchestrate Platform. The Company is engaged in providing content delivery and related services and solutions for global businesses to help them deliver their digital content across Internet, mobile, and social channels. Its services include content delivery services, mobile delivery services, video content management services, performance services, cloud-based storage services and cloud-based content security services. Its solutions include software and device manufacturers, media and broadcasters, and gaming. Limelight services incorporate content and application security, file management, video transformation, distributed storage functionality, and the analytics and reporting associated with them. The Company operates in three geographic areas: Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific.

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