Wageworks (NYSE: WAGE) and Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) are both business services companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, valuation, risk, institutional ownership, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

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This table compares Wageworks and Alibaba Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Wageworks 9.87% 9.60% 3.37%
Alibaba Group 29.57% 17.61% 10.97%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Wageworks and Alibaba Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Wageworks 0 1 2 0 2.67
Alibaba Group 1 0 28 1 2.97

Wageworks currently has a consensus target price of $74.00, indicating a potential upside of 65.73%. Alibaba Group has a consensus target price of $214.14, indicating a potential upside of 22.57%. Given Wageworks’ higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Wageworks is more favorable than Alibaba Group.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Wageworks and Alibaba Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Wageworks $364.71 million 4.85 $20.20 million $0.90 49.61
Alibaba Group $22.99 billion 19.46 $6.35 billion $2.51 69.60

Alibaba Group has higher revenue and earnings than Wageworks. Wageworks is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Alibaba Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

37.7% of Alibaba Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.5% of Wageworks shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Wageworks has a beta of 0.96, meaning that its stock price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Alibaba Group has a beta of 2.51, meaning that its stock price is 151% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Alibaba Group beats Wageworks on 13 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Wageworks Company Profile

WageWorks, Inc. is engaged in administering Consumer-Directed Benefits (CDBs). The Company administers CBDs, including pre-tax spending accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), health and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), as well as Commuter Benefit Services, including transit and parking programs, wellness programs, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and other employee benefits. Its CDB programs assist employees and their families in saving money by using pre-tax dollars to pay for certain of their healthcare, dependent care and commuter expenses. Employers financially benefit from its programs through reduced payroll taxes. It provides operational support services to its clients and its cross-functional teams, including customer support and claims processing. It administers HSAs for employers that allow employee participants to invest funds to be used for qualified healthcare expenses.

Alibaba Group Company Profile

Alibaba Group Holding Limited, through its subsidiaries, operates as an online and mobile commerce company in the People's Republic of China and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Core Commerce, Cloud Computing, Digital Media and Entertainment, and Innovation Initiatives and Others. It operates Taobao Marketplace, a mobile commerce destination; Tmall, a third-party platform for brands and retailers; Rural Taobao program that enables rural residents and businesses to sell agricultural products to urban consumers; Juhuasuan, a sales and marketing platform for flash sales; Alibaba.com, an online wholesale marketplace; Alitrip, an online travel booking platform; 1688.com, an online wholesale marketplace; and AliExpress, a consumer marketplace. The company also provides pay-for-performance and display marketing services through its Alimama marketing technology platform; and Taobao Ad Network and Exchange, a real-time bidding online marketing exchange in China. In addition, it offers cloud computing services, including elastic computing, database, storage and content delivery network, large scale computing, security, and management and application services, as well as big data analytics and a machine learning platform through its Alibaba Cloud Computing platform; Web hosting and domain name registration services; and payment and escrow services, as well as develops and operates mobile Web browsers. The company provides its solutions primarily for businesses. Alibaba Group Holding Limited has strategic collaborations with Driscoll's and Thai Union/Chicken of the Sea to launch their food products to China; and a collaboration agreement with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The company was founded in 1999 and is based in Hangzhou, the People's Republic of China.

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