Willdan Group (NASDAQ: WLDN) and General Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:GFN) are both small-cap construction companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation and risk.

Volatility & Risk

Willdan Group has a beta of 1.3, indicating that its stock price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, General Finance Corporation has a beta of 1.21, indicating that its stock price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

57.2% of Willdan Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 19.1% of General Finance Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 13.3% of Willdan Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 25.8% of General Finance Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Willdan Group and General Finance Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Willdan Group 0 0 3 0 3.00
General Finance Corporation 0 1 2 0 2.67

Willdan Group presently has a consensus target price of $37.67, indicating a potential upside of 22.33%. General Finance Corporation has a consensus target price of $7.60, indicating a potential upside of 47.57%. Given General Finance Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe General Finance Corporation is more favorable than Willdan Group.

Profitability

This table compares Willdan Group and General Finance Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Willdan Group 3.90% 18.91% 8.82%
General Finance Corporation -0.90% -1.37% -0.37%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Willdan Group and General Finance Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Willdan Group $256.27 million 1.04 $15.86 million $1.12 27.49
General Finance Corporation $276.93 million 0.49 $59.20 million ($0.25) -20.60

General Finance Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Willdan Group. General Finance Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Willdan Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Willdan Group beats General Finance Corporation on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Willdan Group

Willdan Group, Inc. is a holding company. The Company provides professional technical and consulting services to utilities, private industry and public agencies at all levels of government, primarily in California and New York. It operates through four segments: Energy Efficiency Services, Engineering Services, Public Finance Services and Homeland Security Services. The Energy Efficiency Services segment provides energy efficiency consulting services to utilities, state agencies, municipalities, private industry and non-profit organizations. The Engineering Services segment offers a range of engineering and planning services to its public and private sector clients. The Public Finance Services segment provides support for the various financing techniques employed by public agencies to finance their operations and infrastructure. The Homeland Security Services segment provides national preparedness, homeland security consulting, public safety and emergency response services.

About General Finance Corporation

General Finance Corporation is a specialty rental services company. The Company offers a range of portable storage units, including its core 20-feet and 40-feet steel containers, office container, mobile office and modular space products and steel tanks. It has two geographic areas that include its four operating segments: the Asia-Pacific area, consisting of the leasing operations of Royal Wolf Holdings Limited and its Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries (Royal Wolf), and North America, consisting of the combined leasing operations of Pac-Van, Inc. and its Canadian subsidiary, PV Acquisition Corp. (Pac-Van) and Lone Star Tank Rental Inc. (Lone Star), and the manufacturing operations of GFN Manufacturing Corporation and its subsidiary, Southern Frac, LLC (Southern Frac). As of June 30, 2016, the Company provided its storage solutions to over 41,000 customers across a range of industries, including commercial, construction, retail, transportation, education and others.

Receive News & Ratings for Willdan Group Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Willdan Group Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.