Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS) and ExlService Holdings (NASDAQ:EXLS) are both business services companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Alliance Data Systems Corporation and ExlService Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alliance Data Systems Corporation 6.77% 59.67% 3.74%
ExlService Holdings 9.53% 14.34% 11.04%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Alliance Data Systems Corporation and ExlService Holdings’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alliance Data Systems Corporation $7.41 billion 1.67 $1.47 billion $8.78 25.33
ExlService Holdings $720.56 million 2.67 $101.10 million $1.97 28.90

Alliance Data Systems Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than ExlService Holdings. Alliance Data Systems Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than ExlService Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

98.9% of Alliance Data Systems Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.4% of ExlService Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.6% of Alliance Data Systems Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.8% of ExlService Holdings shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Alliance Data Systems Corporation pays an annual dividend of $2.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. ExlService Holdings does not pay a dividend. Alliance Data Systems Corporation pays out 23.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Alliance Data Systems Corporation and ExlService Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alliance Data Systems Corporation 2 7 9 0 2.39
ExlService Holdings 1 3 5 0 2.44

Alliance Data Systems Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $253.83, indicating a potential upside of 14.13%. ExlService Holdings has a consensus price target of $59.11, indicating a potential upside of 3.81%. Given Alliance Data Systems Corporation’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Alliance Data Systems Corporation is more favorable than ExlService Holdings.

Risk & Volatility

Alliance Data Systems Corporation has a beta of 1.76, suggesting that its share price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, ExlService Holdings has a beta of 1.3, suggesting that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Alliance Data Systems Corporation beats ExlService Holdings on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Alliance Data Systems Corporation Company Profile

Alliance Data Systems Corporation is a provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions serving consumer-based businesses in a range of industries. The Company offers a portfolio of integrated outsourced marketing solutions, including customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, end-to-end marketing services, analytics and creative services, direct marketing services, and private label and co-brand retail credit card programs. The Company operates through three segments: LoyaltyOne, which provides coalition and short-term loyalty programs through the Company’s Canadian AIR MILES Reward Program and BrandLoyalty Group B.V. (BrandLoyalty); Epsilon, which provides end-to-end, integrated direct marketing solutions, and Card Services, which provides risk management solutions, account origination, funding, transaction processing, customer care, collections and marketing services for the Company’s private label and co-brand retail credit card programs.

ExlService Holdings Company Profile

ExlService Holdings, Inc. is an operations management and analytics company. The Company segments include Insurance; Healthcare; Travel, Transportation and Logistics; Finance and Accounting (F&A); Analytics, and All Other. The Insurance operating segment serves property and casualty insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, annuity and retirement services companies. The Healthcare operating segment serves healthcare payers and providers. The Travel, Transportation and Logistics operating segment primarily serves clients in the travel, transport and logistics industries. The F&A operating segment provides finance and accounting business process management (BPM) services across an array of F&A processes. The Analytics services focus on driving business outcomes for its customers by generating data-driven insights across all parts of its customers’ businesses. The All Other segment includes banking and financial services, utilities and consulting operating segments.

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