Cotiviti (NYSE: COTV) and Fluidigm (NASDAQ:FLDM) are both business services companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares Cotiviti and Fluidigm’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cotiviti 13.86% 13.61% 6.62%
Fluidigm -68.27% -134.35% -17.77%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Cotiviti and Fluidigm, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cotiviti 0 3 6 0 2.67
Fluidigm 0 0 1 0 3.00

Cotiviti currently has a consensus price target of $41.29, indicating a potential upside of 28.22%. Fluidigm has a consensus price target of $9.00, indicating a potential upside of 57.89%. Given Fluidigm’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Fluidigm is more favorable than Cotiviti.

Volatility & Risk

Cotiviti has a beta of 0.39, suggesting that its stock price is 61% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Fluidigm has a beta of 3.37, suggesting that its stock price is 237% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

86.2% of Cotiviti shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.3% of Fluidigm shares are owned by institutional investors. 15.8% of Cotiviti shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.7% of Fluidigm shares are owned by 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.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Cotiviti and Fluidigm’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cotiviti $625.16 million 4.76 $48.85 million $0.97 33.20
Fluidigm $104.45 million 2.11 -$75.98 million ($2.24) -2.54

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

Summary

Cotiviti beats Fluidigm on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cotiviti

Cotiviti Holdings, Inc. is a provider of analytics-driven payment accuracy solutions. The Company focuses primarily on the healthcare sector. The Company operates through two segments: Healthcare, and Global Retail and Other. Through its Healthcare segment, the Company offers prospective and retrospective claims accuracy solutions to healthcare payers in the United States. The Company also provides analytics-based solutions unrelated to its healthcare payment accuracy solutions in the United States. Through its Global Retail and Other segment, the Company provides retrospective claims accuracy solutions to retailers primarily in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as solutions that manage payment networks for a range of clients. The Company leverages its technology platform, configurable analytics, information assets and expertise in healthcare reimbursement to help its clients develop their claims payment accuracy.

About Fluidigm

Fluidigm Corporation creates, manufactures and markets technologies and life science tools focused on the exploration and analysis of single cells, as well as the industrial application of genomics, based upon the Company’s core microfluidics and mass cytometry technologies. The Company operates in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of life science tools for the life science and Ag-Bio industries segment. Its products include preparatory instruments, preparatory analytical instruments, analytical instruments, integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs), and assays and reagents. Its preparatory instruments include C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System, Access Array System, Juno System and IFCs, and Callisto System and IFC. Its analytical instruments include Biomark HD System, EP1 System and Helios/CyTOF 2 System. Its assays and reagents include Delta Gene and SNP Type Assays, and Access Array Target-Specific Primers and Targeted Sequencing Prep Primers.

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