FactSet Research Systems (NYSE: FDS) and Thomson Reuters Corp (NYSE:TRI) are both mid-cap business services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, risk and dividends.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

95.0% of FactSet Research Systems shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 26.5% of Thomson Reuters Corp shares are held by institutional investors. 2.7% of FactSet Research Systems shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for FactSet Research Systems and Thomson Reuters Corp, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
FactSet Research Systems 3 7 1 0 1.82
Thomson Reuters Corp 1 8 4 0 2.23

FactSet Research Systems presently has a consensus price target of $165.00, indicating a potential upside of 2.12%. Thomson Reuters Corp has a consensus price target of $49.55, indicating a potential upside of 6.46%. Given Thomson Reuters Corp’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Thomson Reuters Corp is more favorable than FactSet Research Systems.

Profitability

This table compares FactSet Research Systems and Thomson Reuters Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
FactSet Research Systems 29.02% 55.72% 25.28%
Thomson Reuters Corp 26.81% 13.64% 6.42%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares FactSet Research Systems and Thomson Reuters Corp’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
FactSet Research Systems $1.18 billion 5.37 $414.14 million $8.55 18.90
Thomson Reuters Corp $11.20 billion 2.97 $2.52 billion $4.07 11.43

Thomson Reuters Corp has higher revenue and earnings than FactSet Research Systems. Thomson Reuters Corp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than FactSet Research Systems, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

FactSet Research Systems has a beta of 0.95, suggesting that its stock price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Thomson Reuters Corp has a beta of 0.75, suggesting that its stock price is 25% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

FactSet Research Systems pays an annual dividend of $2.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Thomson Reuters Corp pays an annual dividend of $1.38 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. FactSet Research Systems pays out 26.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Thomson Reuters Corp pays out 33.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. FactSet Research Systems has raised its dividend for 11 consecutive years and Thomson Reuters Corp has raised its dividend for 9 consecutive years.

Summary

FactSet Research Systems beats Thomson Reuters Corp on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About FactSet Research Systems

Factset Research Systems Inc. is engaged in providing integrated financial information and big data analytical applications for the global investment community. The Company’s segments include the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific. The U.S. segment services finance professionals, including financial institutions throughout the Americas. The European segment maintains offices in France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and Dubai. The Asia Pacific segment maintains office locations in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mumbai, India. The Company delivers insight and information to investment professionals through its analytics, service, content, and technology. Its offerings include a complete services solution focused on verifying, cleaning and loading portfolio data across asset classes, and an execution management system. The Company offers third-party content through desktop, wireless and off-platform solutions.

About Thomson Reuters Corp

Thomson Reuters Corporation (Thomson Reuters) is a provider of news and information for professional markets. The Company is organized in three business units: Financial & Risk, Legal, and Tax & Accounting. The Financial & Risk segment is a provider of critical news, information and analytics, enabling transactions and connecting communities of trading, investment, financial and corporate professionals. The Legal segment is a provider of critical online and print information, decision tools, software and services that support legal, investigation, business and government professionals around the world. The Tax & Accounting segment is a provider of integrated tax compliance and accounting information, software and services for professionals in accounting firms, corporations, law firms and government. The Company also operates Reuters, Global Growth Organization (GGO), and Enterprise Technology & Operations (ET&O). Thomson Reuters operates in over 100 countries.

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