ExlService Holdings (NASDAQ: EXLS) and United Rentals (NYSE:URI) are both business services companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability and institutional ownership.

Volatility and Risk

ExlService Holdings has a beta of 1.3, meaning that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Rentals has a beta of 2.43, meaning that its share price is 143% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for ExlService Holdings and United Rentals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ExlService Holdings 1 3 5 0 2.44
United Rentals 1 4 11 0 2.63

ExlService Holdings presently has a consensus target price of $59.11, suggesting a potential upside of 4.66%. United Rentals has a consensus target price of $126.92, suggesting a potential upside of 5.28%. Given United Rentals’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe United Rentals is more favorable than ExlService Holdings.

Profitability

This table compares ExlService Holdings and United Rentals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ExlService Holdings 9.53% 14.34% 11.04%
United Rentals 9.86% 46.01% 6.42%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares ExlService Holdings and United Rentals’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ExlService Holdings $720.56 million 2.64 $101.10 million $1.97 28.67
United Rentals $5.98 billion 1.70 $1.75 billion $6.89 17.50

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

94.9% of ExlService Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.7% of United Rentals shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.8% of ExlService Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of United Rentals shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

United Rentals beats ExlService Holdings on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

ExlService Holdings Company Profile

ExlService Holdings, Inc. is an operations management and analytics company. The Company segments include Insurance; Healthcare; Travel, Transportation and Logistics; Finance and Accounting (F&A); Analytics, and All Other. The Insurance operating segment serves property and casualty insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, annuity and retirement services companies. The Healthcare operating segment serves healthcare payers and providers. The Travel, Transportation and Logistics operating segment primarily serves clients in the travel, transport and logistics industries. The F&A operating segment provides finance and accounting business process management (BPM) services across an array of F&A processes. The Analytics services focus on driving business outcomes for its customers by generating data-driven insights across all parts of its customers’ businesses. The All Other segment includes banking and financial services, utilities and consulting operating segments.

United Rentals Company Profile

United Rentals, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is an equipment rental company, which operates throughout the United States and Canada. It operates through two segments: general rentals, and trench, power and pump. The general rentals segment includes the rental of construction, aerial, industrial and homeowner equipment and related services and activities. The trench, power and pump segment includes the rental of specialty construction products and related services. Its general rentals segment includes the rental of general construction and industrial equipment, such as backhoes, skid-steer loaders, forklifts and material handling equipment; aerial work platforms, such as boom lifts and scissor lifts, and general tools and light equipment, such as pressure washers, water pumps and power tools. As of January 1, 2017, it operated 887 rental locations. The Company conducts its operations through its subsidiary, United Rentals (North America), Inc. (URNA) and subsidiaries of URNA.

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