Equifax (NYSE: EFX) and S&P Global (NYSE:SPGI) are both large-cap business services companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Equifax and S&P Global’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Equifax 17.44% 24.88% 10.51%
S&P Global 38.78% 202.37% 18.20%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Equifax and S&P Global, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Equifax 1 2 10 0 2.69
S&P Global 0 1 7 0 2.88

Equifax currently has a consensus price target of $148.73, indicating a potential upside of 20.69%. S&P Global has a consensus price target of $151.25, indicating a potential downside of 0.45%. Given Equifax’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Equifax is more favorable than S&P Global.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Equifax and S&P Global’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Equifax $3.29 billion 4.51 $1.22 billion $4.72 26.11
S&P Global $5.80 billion 6.73 $2.66 billion $8.56 17.75

S&P Global has higher revenue and earnings than Equifax. S&P Global is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Equifax, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Equifax pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. S&P Global pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Equifax pays out 33.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. S&P Global pays out 19.2% 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. Equifax has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Equifax is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Volatility and Risk

Equifax has a beta of 0.93, suggesting that its share price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, S&P Global has a beta of 1.51, suggesting that its share price is 51% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

90.0% of Equifax shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.4% of S&P Global shares are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of Equifax shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of S&P Global 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.

Summary

S&P Global beats Equifax on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Equifax Company Profile

Equifax Inc. is a global provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments and consumers. The Company operates in four segments: U.S. Information Solutions (USIS), International, Workforce Solutions and Global Consumer Solutions. Its products and services are based on databases of consumer and business information derived from various sources, including credit, financial assets, telecommunications and utility payments, employment, income, demographic and marketing data. It uses statistical techniques and software tools to analyze all available data, creating customized insights, decision-making solutions and processing services for its clients. It helps consumers understand, manage and protect their personal information and make more informed financial decisions. The Company also provides information, technology and services to support debt collections and recovery management.

S&P Global Company Profile

S&P Global Inc., formerly McGraw Hill Financial Inc., is a provider of ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Ratings, which provides credit ratings, research and analytics to investors, issuers and other market participants; Market and Commodities Intelligence, which offers multi-asset-class data, research and analytical capabilities that integrate cross-asset analytics and desktop services, and deliver their customers in the commodity and energy markets access to information, data, analytic services and pricing and benchmarks, and S&P Dow Jones Indices (Indices), which is an index provider that maintains a range of valuation and index benchmarks for investment advisors, wealth managers and institutional investors. The Company’s subsidiary, CRISIL Limited (CRISIL), is a global analytical company and a provider of ratings, data and research, analytics and solutions.

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