Gartner (NYSE: IT) and Imperva (NYSE:IMPV) are both business services companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, risk, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Volatility and Risk

Gartner has a beta of 1.07, suggesting that its stock price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Imperva has a beta of 2.23, suggesting that its stock price is 123% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Gartner and Imperva, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Gartner 0 4 4 1 2.67
Imperva 0 8 10 0 2.56

Gartner presently has a consensus target price of $126.25, indicating a potential upside of 0.75%. Imperva has a consensus target price of $50.65, indicating a potential upside of 18.63%. Given Imperva’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Imperva is more favorable than Gartner.

Profitability

This table compares Gartner and Imperva’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Gartner 1.50% 103.10% 6.92%
Imperva -4.69% -5.00% -2.98%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

92.1% of Gartner shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.7% of Imperva shares are held by institutional investors. 4.3% of Gartner shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of Imperva shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Gartner and Imperva’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Gartner $2.75 billion 4.13 $373.34 million $0.55 227.84
Imperva $293.55 million 4.92 -$18.92 million ($2.06) -20.73

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

Summary

Gartner beats Imperva on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Gartner Company Profile

Gartner, Inc. is an information technology research and advisory company. The Company works with clients to research, analyze and interpret the business of information technology (IT), supply chain and marketing within the context of their individual roles. It operates in three segments: Research, Consulting and Events. Research segment consists of subscription-based research products, access to research inquiry, peer networking services and membership programs. Consulting segment consists of consulting, measurement engagements and strategic advisory services. Events segment consists of various symposia, conferences and exhibitions. It provides insight through reports, briefings, tools, access to its analysts, peer networking services and membership programs that enable its clients to make decisions about their IT, supply chain and digital marketing initiatives. Its consultants provide fact-based consulting services to help clients use and manage IT to optimize business performance.

Imperva Company Profile

Imperva, Inc. provides cyber-security solutions that protect business-critical data and applications whether in the cloud or on premises. The Company is engaged in the development, marketing, sales, service and support of cyber-security solutions. The Company’s products include its Imperva SecureSphere Paltform, Imperva CounterBreach and Imperva Camouflage for enterprise data centers, and Imperva Incapsula offering for cloud-based security services. Its Imperva SecureSphere provides database, file and Web application security across various physical and virtual systems in data centers, including in private, public and hybrid cloud computing environments. Its Imperva Incapsula product line provides cloud-based Website security, denial of service protection and performance solutions. Its Imperva Camouflage creates realistic, functional data for development, testing, and training by disguising sensitive information, while maintaining the characteristics of the original data.

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