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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for General Finance and Vantiv, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
General Finance 0 1 1 0 2.50
Vantiv 0 9 19 0 2.68

General Finance presently has a consensus target price of $9.20, indicating a potential upside of 46.03%. Vantiv has a consensus target price of $76.44, indicating a potential upside of 6.36%. Given General Finance’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe General Finance is more favorable than Vantiv.

Risk & Volatility

General Finance has a beta of 1.31, suggesting that its stock price is 31% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vantiv has a beta of 0.58, suggesting that its stock price is 42% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares General Finance and Vantiv’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
General Finance $276.93 million 0.61 -$2.96 million ($0.21) -30.00
Vantiv $3.58 billion 3.57 $213.20 million $1.45 49.57

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
General Finance -0.73% -1.29% -0.31%
Vantiv 6.07% 41.19% 7.92%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

27.6% of General Finance shares are held by institutional investors. 25.9% of General Finance shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of Vantiv shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Vantiv beats General Finance on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About General Finance

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.

About Vantiv

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.

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