ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW) and LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Volatility & Risk

ACI Worldwide has a beta of 1.34, indicating that its stock price is 34% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, LivePerson has a beta of 1.38, indicating that its stock price is 38% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares ACI Worldwide and LivePerson’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ACI Worldwide 2.47% 8.92% 3.59%
LivePerson -13.29% -8.71% -5.58%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares ACI Worldwide and LivePerson’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ACI Worldwide $1.03 billion 2.78 $173.08 million $0.22 110.00
LivePerson $215.63 million 3.97 $8.16 million ($0.50) -29.10

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for ACI Worldwide and LivePerson, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ACI Worldwide 0 1 4 0 2.80
LivePerson 0 2 5 0 2.71

ACI Worldwide currently has a consensus price target of $25.00, suggesting a potential upside of 3.31%. LivePerson has a consensus price target of $13.76, suggesting a potential downside of 5.40%. Given ACI Worldwide’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe ACI Worldwide is more favorable than LivePerson.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

74.9% of LivePerson shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.2% of ACI Worldwide shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.4% of LivePerson shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

ACI Worldwide beats LivePerson on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide, Inc. develops, markets, installs and supports a line of software products and services primarily focused on facilitating electronic payments. The Company also distributes or acts as a sales agent for software developed by third parties. Its products and services are used principally by financial institutions, retailers, billers and electronic payment processors, both in domestic and international markets. The Company’s products are sold and supported through distribution networks covering three geographic regions, including the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and Asia/Pacific. The Company’s products and services are used by a range of transaction-generating endpoints, including automated teller machines (ATM), retail merchant point-of-sale (POS) terminals, bank branches, corporations and Internet commerce sites. The Company provides payment solutions to financial institutions globally for both retail banking and transaction banking services.

About LivePerson

LivePerson, Inc. (Liveperson) is a provider of mobile and online business messaging technologies that power digital communication between brands and consumers. The Company’s segments include Business and Consumer. The Business segment enables brands to leverage its cloud-based LiveEngage’s intelligence engine. The Consumer segment facilitates online transactions between independent service providers (Experts) and individual consumers (Users) seeking information and knowledge for a fee through mobile and online messaging. The Company’s platform, LiveEngage, enables businesses to create a meaningful connection with consumers by offering messaging as a preferred channel of communication. The Company’s products and services include LiveEngage, Professional Services and Consumer Offering. As a cloud computing or software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, LivePerson provides solutions on a hosted basis. LiveEngage enables the combination of real time on-site data and off-site behavioral data.

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