Vantiv (NYSE: VNTV) and Cardtronics PLC (NASDAQ:CATM) are both business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends and risk.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

80.5% of Vantiv shares are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of Vantiv shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Cardtronics PLC shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Vantiv and Cardtronics PLC’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vantiv 5.58% 33.54% 8.00%
Cardtronics PLC 4.83% 28.23% 7.72%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Vantiv and Cardtronics PLC’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vantiv $3.80 billion 3.07 $880.01 million $1.29 56.02
Cardtronics PLC $1.38 billion 0.89 $304.90 million $1.45 18.62

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

Risk and Volatility

Vantiv has a beta of 0.59, meaning that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cardtronics PLC has a beta of 0.81, meaning that its stock price is 19% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Vantiv and Cardtronics PLC, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vantiv 0 7 18 0 2.72
Cardtronics PLC 0 2 3 0 2.60

Vantiv currently has a consensus target price of $74.35, suggesting a potential upside of 2.88%. Cardtronics PLC has a consensus target price of $46.50, suggesting a potential upside of 72.22%. Given Cardtronics PLC’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Cardtronics PLC is more favorable than Vantiv.

Summary

Vantiv beats Cardtronics PLC on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Vantiv Company Profile

Vantiv, Inc. is a holding company. The Company conducts its operations through its subsidiary, Vantiv Holding, LLC. The Company is a payment processor. The Company’s segments include Merchant Services and Financial Institution Services. The Company offers a range of payment processing services that enable its clients to meet their payment processing needs through a single provider. The Company enables merchants to accept and process credit, debit and prepaid payments, and provide them supporting value-added services, such as security solutions and fraud management, information solutions and interchange management. It also provides payment services to financial institutions, such as card issuer processing, payment network processing, fraud protection, card production, prepaid program management, automated teller machine (ATM) driving and network gateway and switching services that utilize the Company’s Jeanie personal identification number (PIN) debit payment network.

Cardtronics PLC Company Profile

Cardtronics plc, formerly Cardtronics, Inc., provides automated consumer financial services through its network of automated teller machines (ATMS) and multi-function financial services kiosks. The Company’s operations consists of its North America, Europe, and Corporate & Other segments. Its ATM operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico are included in its North America segment. Its ATM operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Spain and i-design are included in its Europe segment. Its transaction processing operations, which service its North American and European operations, along with external customers, and the Company’s corporate general and administrative functions comprise the Corporate & Other segment. As of December 31, 2016, it provided services to approximately 203,000 ATMs throughout the United States (including the United States territory of Puerto Rico), the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Spain, Canada and Mexico.

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