Cheetah Mobile (NYSE: CMCM) and Mitek Systems (NASDAQ:MITK) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Risk & Volatility

Cheetah Mobile has a beta of 3.22, suggesting that its stock price is 222% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mitek Systems has a beta of 0.69, suggesting that its stock price is 31% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

7.2% of Cheetah Mobile shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 44.9% of Mitek Systems shares are held by institutional investors. 17.1% of Cheetah Mobile shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 8.5% of Mitek Systems shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Cheetah Mobile and Mitek Systems’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cheetah Mobile $657.45 million 2.69 -$11.59 million $0.36 34.17
Mitek Systems $45.39 million 6.61 $14.09 million $0.39 22.82

Mitek Systems has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Cheetah Mobile. Mitek Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cheetah Mobile, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Cheetah Mobile and Mitek Systems, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cheetah Mobile 0 3 0 0 2.00
Mitek Systems 0 0 5 0 3.00

Cheetah Mobile currently has a consensus target price of $11.67, suggesting a potential downside of 5.15%. Mitek Systems has a consensus target price of $10.60, suggesting a potential upside of 19.10%. Given Mitek Systems’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Mitek Systems is more favorable than Cheetah Mobile.

Profitability

This table compares Cheetah Mobile and Mitek Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cheetah Mobile 7.44% 10.76% 6.35%
Mitek Systems 31.05% 12.72% 10.58%

Summary

Mitek Systems beats Cheetah Mobile on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cheetah Mobile Company Profile

Cheetah Mobile Inc. is a holding company. The Company and its consolidated subsidiaries, variable interest entities (VIEs) and a VIE’s subsidiary are engaged in the provision of online marketing services, Internet value-added services, and Internet security services and others. The Company operates a platform that offers mobile and personal computer (PC) applications for its users and global content promotional channels for its customers, both of which are powered by its cloud-based data analytics engines. For its users, its diversified suite of applications optimizes mobile and PC Internet system performance, and provides real time protection against known and unknown security threats. Its data analytics engines perform real time analysis of mobile applications, program files and Websites on their devices for behavior that may impair system performance or impose security risks.

Mitek Systems Company Profile

Mitek Systems, Inc. develops, markets and sells mobile capture and identity verification software solutions for enterprise customers. The Company’s technology allows users to remotely deposit checks, open accounts, get insurance quotes, pay bills, as well as verify their identity by taking pictures of various documents with their camera-equipped smartphones and tablets instead of using the device keyboard. Its technology uses algorithms to correct image distortion, extract relevant data, route images to their desired location and process transactions. Its technology processes images of documents in various ways. The Company’s products include Mobile Verify, Mobile Fill, Mobile Docs, Mobile Deposit and Commercial Mobile Deposit Capture. Its mobile technology solutions are provided in two parts: a software development kit (SDK) for mobile capture, and a software platform for image correction, detection, extraction and authentication.

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