Cross Country Healthcare (NASDAQ: CCRN) and On Assignment (NYSE:ASGN) are both business services companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, valuation, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership and dividends.

Volatility and Risk

Cross Country Healthcare has a beta of 0.85, suggesting that its stock price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, On Assignment has a beta of 2.13, suggesting that its stock price is 113% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cross Country Healthcare and On Assignment’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cross Country Healthcare $854.40 million 0.60 $38.83 million $0.03 472.00
On Assignment $2.53 billion 1.12 $263.01 million $2.04 26.35

On Assignment has higher revenue and earnings than Cross Country Healthcare. On Assignment is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cross Country Healthcare, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Cross Country Healthcare and On Assignment’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cross Country Healthcare 1.06% 12.78% 6.02%
On Assignment 4.32% 16.71% 8.42%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Cross Country Healthcare and On Assignment, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cross Country Healthcare 0 1 4 0 2.80
On Assignment 0 0 2 0 3.00

Cross Country Healthcare currently has a consensus price target of $16.30, suggesting a potential upside of 15.11%. On Assignment has a consensus price target of $56.00, suggesting a potential upside of 4.17%. Given Cross Country Healthcare’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Cross Country Healthcare is more favorable than On Assignment.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

95.5% of Cross Country Healthcare shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.0% of On Assignment shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.2% of Cross Country Healthcare shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.4% of On Assignment shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

On Assignment beats Cross Country Healthcare on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cross Country Healthcare

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. is engaged in providing healthcare recruiting, staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions. The Company operates in three segments: Nurse and Allied Staffing, Physician Staffing and Other Human Capital Management Services. The Nurse and Allied Staffing segment provides traditional staffing, including temporary and permanent placement of travel nurses and allied professionals, and branch-based local nurses and allied staffing. The Physician Staffing segment provides physicians in various specialties, certified registered nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants under its Medical Doctor Associates brand. The Other Human Capital Management Services is engaged in providing retained and contingent search services for physicians, healthcare executives, nurses, advanced practice and allied health professionals. It provides multi-specialty locum tenens services, as well as other human capital management services focused on healthcare.

About On Assignment

On Assignment, Inc. is a global provider of in-demand, skilled professionals in the technology, life sciences and creative sectors. The Company matches resumes with job descriptions to match people they know into positions they understand for temporary, contract-to-hire, and direct hire assignments. It operates through two segments. The Apex segment provides technical, scientific and creative professionals for temporary, contract-to-hire and permanent placement positions and consulting services to clients across the United States. The Apex segment includes Apex Systems, Lab Support and Creative Circle. The Oxford segment provides specialized niche staffing, permanent placement and consulting services in select skill and geographic markets. The Oxford segment includes Oxford Global Resources, CyberCoders and Life Sciences Europe. The Company has a network of branch offices throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

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