LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN) and TechTarget (NASDAQ:TTGT) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation and risk.

Profitability

This table compares LivePerson and TechTarget’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
LivePerson -11.07% -4.41% -2.77%
TechTarget 6.27% 5.79% 4.05%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares LivePerson and TechTarget’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
LivePerson $222.78 million 3.03 -$25.87 million ($0.42) -27.02
TechTarget $108.56 million 4.30 $6.80 million $0.24 70.79

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for LivePerson and TechTarget, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
LivePerson 0 1 6 0 2.86
TechTarget 0 1 3 0 2.75

LivePerson currently has a consensus price target of $15.26, indicating a potential upside of 34.49%. TechTarget has a consensus price target of $16.00, indicating a potential downside of 5.83%. Given LivePerson’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe LivePerson is more favorable than TechTarget.

Risk & Volatility

LivePerson has a beta of 1.2, meaning that its share price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, TechTarget has a beta of 1.6, meaning that its share price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

76.5% of LivePerson shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 55.7% of TechTarget shares are held by institutional investors. 11.7% of LivePerson shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 30.2% of TechTarget shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

TechTarget beats LivePerson on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About LivePerson

LivePerson, Inc. (Liveperson) is a provider of mobile and online business messaging technologies that power digital communication between brands and consumers. The Company’s segments include Business and Consumer. The Business segment enables brands to leverage its cloud-based LiveEngage’s intelligence engine. The Consumer segment facilitates online transactions between independent service providers (Experts) and individual consumers (Users) seeking information and knowledge for a fee through mobile and online messaging. The Company’s platform, LiveEngage, enables businesses to create a meaningful connection with consumers by offering messaging as a preferred channel of communication. The Company’s products and services include LiveEngage, Professional Services and Consumer Offering. As a cloud computing or software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, LivePerson provides solutions on a hosted basis. LiveEngage enables the combination of real time on-site data and off-site behavioral data.

About TechTarget

TechTarget, Inc. provides online content that helps buyers and sellers of corporate information technology (IT) products and services. The Company’s offerings enable IT vendors to identify, reach and influence corporate IT decision makers researching specific IT purchases through customized marketing programs that include data analytics-driven intelligence solutions, demand generation and brand advertising. Its Websites focuses on IT sectors, such as storage, security or networking and for decision support information. Its content enables IT professionals to navigate the IT landscape where purchasing decisions can have financial and operational consequences. Its marketing opportunities and audience extensions are addressed using approximately nine distinct media groups, including Application Architecture and Development; Channel; CIO/IT Strategy; Data Center and Virtualization Technologies; Business Applications and Analytics; Networking; Security; Storage and TechnologyGuide.

Receive News & Ratings for LivePerson Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for LivePerson and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.