Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) and Lightbridge (NASDAQ:LTBR) 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, risk, valuation, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership and dividends.

Risk and Volatility

Exponent has a beta of 0.47, indicating that its share price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lightbridge has a beta of 2.04, indicating that its share price is 104% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

88.5% of Exponent shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 5.6% of Lightbridge shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.7% of Exponent shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 11.6% of Lightbridge shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Exponent and Lightbridge’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Exponent $379.52 million 7.75 $72.25 million $1.25 45.70
Lightbridge $170,000.00 107.66 -$7.10 million N/A N/A

Exponent has higher revenue and earnings than Lightbridge.

Profitability

This table compares Exponent and Lightbridge’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Exponent 19.04% 21.53% 14.81%
Lightbridge N/A -65.44% -61.76%

Dividends

Exponent pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Lightbridge does not pay a dividend. Exponent pays out 51.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Exponent has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Exponent and Lightbridge, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Exponent 0 0 3 0 3.00
Lightbridge 0 0 0 0 N/A

Exponent currently has a consensus price target of $56.00, suggesting a potential downside of 1.96%. Given Exponent’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Exponent is more favorable than Lightbridge.

Summary

Exponent beats Lightbridge on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Exponent Company Profile

Exponent, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a science and engineering consulting company worldwide. Its services include analysis of product development, product recall, regulatory compliance, and the discovery of potential problems related to products, people, property, and impending litigation. The company operates in two segments, Engineering and Other Scientific, and Environmental and Health. The Engineering and Other Scientific segment provides services in the areas of biomechanics, biomedical engineering, buildings and structures, civil engineering, construction consulting, electrical engineering and computer science, human factors, industrial structures, materials and corrosion engineering, mechanical engineering, polymer science and materials chemistry, statistical and data sciences, thermal sciences, and vehicle analysis. The Environmental and Health segment offers services in the areas of chemical regulation and food safety, ecological and biological sciences, environmental and earth sciences, and health sciences. The company offers approximately 90 different technical disciplines to solve complicated issues facing industry and government. It serves clients in chemical, construction, consumer products, energy, food, beverage and nutrition, government, life sciences, insurance, manufacturing, technology, industrial equipment, transportation, and other sectors of the economy. The company was formerly known as The Failure Group, Inc. and changed its name to Exponent, Inc. in 1998. Exponent, Inc. was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

Lightbridge Company Profile

Lightbridge Corporation operates as a nuclear fuel technology company worldwide. It operates through two segments, Technology and Consulting. It offers all-metal fuel for operating and new build reactors; all-uranium seed and blanket fuel for existing plants and new build reactors; and thorium-based seed and blanket fuel for existing and new build reactors. The company also provides nuclear power consulting and strategic advisory services to commercial and governmental entities. Its services include integrated strategic advice across a range of areas, including regulatory development, nuclear reactor site selection, procurement and deployment, reactor and fuel technology, international relations, program management, and infrastructure development. The company was formerly known as Thorium Power, Ltd. and changed its name to Lightbridge Corporation in September 2009. Lightbridge Corporation was founded in 1992 and is based in Reston, Virginia.

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