NetSpend Holdings (NASDAQ: NTSP) and Green Dot Corporation (NYSE:GDOT) are both consumer credit cards services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares NetSpend Holdings and Green Dot Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NetSpend Holdings N/A N/A N/A
Green Dot Corporation 8.61% 12.55% 4.88%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for NetSpend Holdings and Green Dot Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NetSpend Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A
Green Dot Corporation 0 5 9 0 2.64

Green Dot Corporation has a consensus target price of $51.33, suggesting a potential downside of 17.02%.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

76.9% of Green Dot Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.0% of Green Dot Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares NetSpend Holdings and Green Dot Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NetSpend Holdings N/A N/A N/A $0.44 N/A
Green Dot Corporation $718.77 million 4.34 $41.60 million $1.38 44.83

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

Summary

Green Dot Corporation beats NetSpend Holdings on 8 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

About NetSpend Holdings

NetSpend Holdings, Inc. (NetSpend) is a provider of general-purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards (GPR) cards, and related alternative financial services to underbanked consumers in the United States. NetSpend’s GPR cards are tied to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured depository accounts and can be used to make purchase transactions at any merchant that participates in the MasterCard, Visa or PULSE networks and to withdraw funds at participating automated teller machines (ATMs). The Company also offers to its cardholders direct deposit, interest-bearing savings accounts, bill pay and card-to-card transfer functionality, personal financial management tools and online and mobile phone card account access. As of December 31, 2010, the Company marketed its GPR cards through approximately 750 retail distributors at approximately 39,000 locations. As of August 21, 2010, the Company ceased marketing gift cards.

About Green Dot Corporation

Green Dot Corporation (Green Dot) is a pro-consumer financial technology innovator. The Company is a provider of reloadable prepaid debit cards and cash reload processing services in the United States. The Company operates through two segments: Account Services, and Processing and Settlement Services. The Company’s account services segment includes branded deposit account programs, including Green Dot-branded and affinity-branded general purpose reloadable (GPR) card accounts; checking accounts, open-loop gift cards and secured credit cards. The Company’s processing and settlement services include its money processing services, which consists of reload services and 1099 disbursements, and its tax refund processing services. It also has operations in the mobile technology and mobile banking with GoBank mobile checking account. Through its subsidiary, SBBT Holdings, LLC (TPG), it also operates as a processor of tax refund disbursements in the United States.

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