Head to Head Review: ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock (IWSY) versus Microsoft (MSFT)

ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock (OTCMKTS: IWSY) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock and Microsoft, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock 0 0 1 0 3.00
Microsoft 1 4 28 1 2.85

ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock currently has a consensus price target of $4.25, suggesting a potential upside of 226.92%. Microsoft has a consensus price target of $105.62, suggesting a potential upside of 3.43%. Given ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock is more favorable than Microsoft.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

1.3% of ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 72.3% of Microsoft shares are owned by institutional investors. 47.7% of ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.5% of Microsoft shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock has a beta of 1.16, suggesting that its stock price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Microsoft has a beta of 1.04, suggesting that its stock price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock and Microsoft’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock $4.29 million 28.84 -$10.06 million ($0.15) -8.67
Microsoft $89.95 billion 8.74 $21.20 billion $3.31 30.85

Microsoft has higher revenue and earnings than ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock. ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Microsoft, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock and Microsoft’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock -267.65% N/A -113.37%
Microsoft 13.72% 36.49% 11.76%

Dividends

Microsoft pays an annual dividend of $1.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock does not pay a dividend. Microsoft pays out 50.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Microsoft has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Summary

Microsoft beats ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock on 12 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

ImageWare Systems, Inc. common stock Company Profile

ImageWare Systems, Inc. provides biometrically enabled software-based identity management solutions for biometrics, secure credential, law enforcement, and public safety markets worldwide. Its flagship product is the patented IWS Biometric Engine, a multi-biometric software platform that enables the enrollment and management of unlimited population sizes. The company also offers GoMobile Interactive that enables business, service, and content providers to offer users biometric security for their products, services, and content; IWS PIV (personal identity verification) Management Application that supplies Web-based graphical user interface to server functions; IWS PIV Middleware, which connects card reader and PIV card; IWS Background Server, a software application for biometric identity management functions; IWS Desktop Security, an authentication management platform; and IWS Biometric Quality Assessment and Enhancement, a biometric image enhancement and assessment solution. Its secure credential products include GoVerifyID, a biometric authentication solution; IWS Card Management System to support and manage the issuance of smart cards; IWS EPI Suite, an ID software solution for producing, issuing, and managing credentials and personal identification cards; IWS EPI Builder, which offers various aspects of ID functionality; IWS EPI PrintFarm software for card printing; and IWS PIV Encoder to program the PIV smart cards. In addition, the company provides IWS Law Enforcement, a digital booking, identification, and investigative solution; and LiveScan, Capture, Facial Recognition, Law Enforcement Web, Witness View, and IWS Biometric Engine add-on modules, as well as maintenance and customer support, and software customization and fulfillment services. It serves healthcare, banking, retail/e-commerce, government, and law enforcement and public safety markets. ImageWare Systems, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Microsoft Company Profile

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products, services, and devices worldwide. The company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services for businesses, including Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, such as Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; Dynamics business solutions, such as financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and mid-size businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises; and LinkedIn online professional network. Its Intelligent Cloud segment licenses server products and cloud services, such as Microsoft SQL Server, Windows Server, Visual Studio, System Center, and related CALs, as well as Azure, a cloud platform; and enterprise services, such as Premier Support and Microsoft Consulting that assist in developing, deploying, and managing Microsoft server and desktop solutions, as well as providing training and certification to developers and IT professionals on Microsoft products. The company's More Personal Computing segment comprises Windows OEM, volume, and other non-volume licensing of the Windows operating system; patent licensing, Windows Internet of Things, MSN display advertising, and Windows Phone licensing system; devices, including Microsoft Surface, phones, and PC accessories; and search advertising, including Bing and Bing Ads. It also provides gaming platforms, including Xbox hardware, Xbox Live, video games, and third-party video games. The company markets and distributes its products through original equipment manufacturers, distributors, and resellers, as well as through online and Microsoft retail stores. It has a strategic partnership with CNH Industrial N.V. and BlackBerry Limited. The company was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington.

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