Advanced Disposal Services (NYSE: ADSW) and Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ:MARA) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Advanced Disposal Services and Marathon Patent Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Advanced Disposal Services -1.61% 5.84% 1.41%
Marathon Patent Group -4,941.55% -1,139.06% -228.87%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Advanced Disposal Services and Marathon Patent Group, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Advanced Disposal Services 0 2 6 0 2.75
Marathon Patent Group 0 0 1 0 3.00

Advanced Disposal Services currently has a consensus price target of $26.00, indicating a potential upside of 12.90%. Marathon Patent Group has a consensus price target of $12.00, indicating a potential upside of 90.48%. Given Marathon Patent Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Marathon Patent Group is more favorable than Advanced Disposal Services.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

96.5% of Advanced Disposal Services shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 13.4% of Marathon Patent Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.2% of Advanced Disposal Services shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 7.0% of Marathon Patent Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Advanced Disposal Services and Marathon Patent Group’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Advanced Disposal Services $1.40 billion 1.45 -$30.40 million ($0.28) -82.25
Marathon Patent Group $36.63 million 1.74 -$28.66 million ($8.86) -0.71

Marathon Patent Group has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Advanced Disposal Services. Advanced Disposal Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Marathon Patent Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Advanced Disposal Services has a beta of -0.67, meaning that its stock price is 167% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Marathon Patent Group has a beta of 2.72, meaning that its stock price is 172% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Advanced Disposal Services beats Marathon Patent Group on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Advanced Disposal Services

Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. is an integrated provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services operating primarily in secondary markets or under exclusive arrangements. The Company’s segments include South, East, Midwest and Corporate. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had its presence in 16 states across the Midwest, South and East regions of the United States, as well as in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, served approximately 2.7 million residential customers and over 200,000 commercial and industrial (C&I) customers through its network of 90 collection operations, 72 transfer stations, 21 owned or operated recycling facilities and 39 owned or operated active landfills. The Company’s vertically integrated environmental services operations can be classified into three lines of business: collection services, disposal services and recycling services. The disposal services include transfer stations and landfills.

About Marathon Patent Group

Marathon Patent Group Inc. (MARA) is engaged in acquiring patents and patent rights from owners or other ventures. The Company monetizes its portfolio of patents and patent rights by entering into license discussions. The Company owns around 378 United States and foreign patents, and patent rights across a range of technologies and markets. The Company owns around 22 patent applications across a range of technologies and markets.

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