Exa Corporation (NASDAQ: EXA) and RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares Exa Corporation and RealNetworks’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Exa Corporation -6.46% -25.19% -7.40%
RealNetworks -20.48% -36.41% -24.73%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Exa Corporation and RealNetworks, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Exa Corporation 0 1 3 0 2.75
RealNetworks 0 0 1 0 3.00

Exa Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $16.50, suggesting a potential upside of 9.05%. RealNetworks has a consensus target price of $6.50, suggesting a potential upside of 46.07%. Given RealNetworks’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe RealNetworks is more favorable than Exa Corporation.

Volatility and Risk

Exa Corporation has a beta of 0.41, suggesting that its share price is 59% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, RealNetworks has a beta of 0.55, suggesting that its share price is 45% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Exa Corporation and RealNetworks’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Exa Corporation $72.69 million 3.13 $1.48 million ($0.32) -47.28
RealNetworks $126.19 million 1.31 -$17.23 million ($0.69) -6.45

Exa Corporation has higher revenue, but lower earnings than RealNetworks. Exa Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than RealNetworks, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

76.0% of Exa Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 51.7% of RealNetworks shares are held by institutional investors. 11.5% of Exa Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 37.9% of RealNetworks shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Exa Corporation beats RealNetworks on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Exa Corporation

Exa Corporation develops, sells and supports simulation software and services that manufacturers use in design and engineering processes. The Company focuses primarily on the ground transportation market, including manufacturers in the passenger vehicle, highway truck, off-highway vehicle and train markets, as well as their suppliers. Its product, PowerFLOW, is a software solution for simulating fluid flow problems, including aerodynamics, thermal management and aeroacoustics, or wind noise. PowerFLOW uses its Digital Physics technology that enables it to predict fluid flows. PowerFLOW directly simulates unpredictable turbulent scales. The PowerFLOW software suite includes the simulation engine and grid generation engine, along with pre- and post-processing software products. The software is delivered in client/server architecture, or through its cloud-based offering, ExaCLOUD. With the ExaCLOUD solution, various client features and functions are accessed through a Web browser.

About RealNetworks

RealNetworks, Inc. creates applications and services that enable to connect with digital media. The Company connects consumers with their digital media directly and through partners, focusing on supporting various network, devices, media types and social networks. It operates through three segments: Consumer Media, Mobile Services and Games. Within its Consumer Media business, its RealPlayer media player software includes features and services that enable consumers to discover, play, download, manage and edit digital video, stream audio and video, download and save photos and videos from the Web, transfer and share content on social networks, and edit their own photo and video content. The Mobile Services segment consists of digital media services it provides to mobile and online service providers as software as a service offerings. It develops, publishes, licenses and distributes casual games.

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