Guidance Software (NASDAQ: GUID) and VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability and risk.

Volatility and Risk

Guidance Software has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, VeriSign has a beta of 1.18, indicating that its share price is 18% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Guidance Software and VeriSign’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Guidance Software -6.56% -1,053.09% -2.01%
VeriSign 39.92% -36.99% 18.95%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Guidance Software and VeriSign, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Guidance Software 1 3 4 0 2.38
VeriSign 0 3 0 0 2.00

Guidance Software presently has a consensus price target of $15.73, suggesting a potential upside of 121.84%. VeriSign has a consensus price target of $89.67, suggesting a potential downside of 14.32%. Given Guidance Software’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Guidance Software is more favorable than VeriSign.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Guidance Software and VeriSign’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Guidance Software $108.61 million 2.00 -$971,000.00 ($0.25) -28.36
VeriSign $1.15 billion 9.09 $747.69 million $3.67 28.51

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

51.8% of Guidance Software shares are held by institutional investors. 8.4% of Guidance Software shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of VeriSign shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

VeriSign beats Guidance Software on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Guidance Software Company Profile

Guidance Software, Inc. is a technology company. The Company is a provider of endpoint investigation solutions for cybersecurity analytics, security incident response, e-discovery, data privacy and forensic analysis. The Company has five segments, which include Products, Subscription, Professional services, Training and Maintenance. The Company’s Products segment includes EnCase, EnCase Endpoint Security, EnCase eDiscovery, EnCase Forensic, EnCase Portable, Premium License Support Program and hardware sales. Its Subscription segment includes subscription services for cloud-based document review and production software. Its Professional services segment performs consulting services and implementations. Its Training segment provides training classes, by which the Company trains its customers to use its software products. Its maintenance segment provides software updates, telephone and e-mail support.

VeriSign Company Profile

VeriSign, Inc. is a provider of domain name registry services and Internet security. The Company operates through Registry Services and Security Services segment. Registry Services ensure the security, stability and resiliency of Internet infrastructure and services, including the .com and .net domains, and operation of the root-zone maintainer functions for the core of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). Security Services provides infrastructure assurance services consisting of Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) Protection Services and Managed DNS Services. DDoS Protection Services supports online business continuity by providing monitoring and mitigation services against DDoS attacks. Managed DNS Services is a hosting service that delivers DNS resolution for the availability of Web-based systems.

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