Total System Services (NYSE: TSS) and Verifone Systems (NYSE:PAY) 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, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, risk and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Total System Services and Verifone Systems, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Total System Services 1 9 16 0 2.58
Verifone Systems 1 13 3 0 2.12

Total System Services presently has a consensus price target of $69.17, suggesting a potential downside of 6.25%. Verifone Systems has a consensus price target of $19.40, suggesting a potential upside of 12.14%. Given Verifone Systems’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Verifone Systems is more favorable than Total System Services.

Volatility and Risk

Total System Services has a beta of 1.11, suggesting that its stock price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Verifone Systems has a beta of 2.01, suggesting that its stock price is 101% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

76.9% of Total System Services shares are held by institutional investors. 2.6% of Total System Services shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Verifone Systems shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Total System Services pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Verifone Systems does not pay a dividend. Total System Services pays out 23.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Total System Services and Verifone Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Total System Services 8.73% 26.25% 9.23%
Verifone Systems -9.76% 11.19% 3.72%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Total System Services and Verifone Systems’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Total System Services $4.17 billion 3.25 $319.63 million $2.25 32.79
Verifone Systems $1.99 billion 0.97 -$9.28 million ($1.62) -10.68

Total System Services has higher revenue and earnings than Verifone Systems. Verifone Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Total System Services, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Total System Services beats Verifone Systems on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Total System Services

Total System Services, Inc. (TSYS) is a payment solutions provider that provides payment processing services, merchant services and related payment services to financial and non-financial institutions. The Company’s segments include North America Services, Merchant Services, NetSpend and International Services. In addition, it provides general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid and payroll cards, and alternative financial service solutions to the underbanked and other consumers. The Company’s Merchant Services segment provides third party processing services to merchant acquirers and Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) and financial institutions. The Company’s NetSpend segment is engaged in the provision and sale of prepaid access devices, such as its GPR prepaid debit cards. The Company’s services and solutions include Issuing Services, Acquiring Services, Prepaid Solutions and Merchant Solutions.

About Verifone Systems

VeriFone Systems, Inc. offers payments and commerce solutions. The Company is engaged in designing, manufacturing, marketing and supplying a range of payment solutions and complementary services. It provides solutions and services for the retail point-of-sale (POS) that enable various forms of commerce. The Company’s segments include Verifone Systems and Verifone Services. The Verifone Systems segment delivers point of sale electronic payment devices that run the operating systems, security and encryption software, and certified payment software for both payments and commerce. The Verifone Services segment delivers device-related leasing and maintenance, payment transaction routing and reporting, and commerce based services, such as advertising on digital screens. The Company operates in various sectors, such as financial services, retail, petroleum, restaurant, hospitality, taxi, transportation and healthcare.

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