Quarterhill (NASDAQ:QTRH) and Spherix (NASDAQ:SPEX) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares Quarterhill and Spherix’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Quarterhill -63.46% -12.75% -10.94%
Spherix N/A 19.18% 16.85%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Quarterhill and Spherix’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Quarterhill $77.40 million 1.69 -$49.12 million ($0.24) -4.58
Spherix $30,000.00 259.08 $1.73 million N/A N/A

Spherix has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Quarterhill.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Quarterhill and Spherix, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Quarterhill 0 1 0 0 2.00
Spherix 0 0 0 0 N/A

Quarterhill currently has a consensus price target of $2.00, suggesting a potential upside of 81.82%. Given Quarterhill’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Quarterhill is more favorable than Spherix.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

10.9% of Quarterhill shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 2.9% of Spherix shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.9% of Spherix shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Quarterhill has a beta of 0.88, suggesting that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Spherix has a beta of 0.42, suggesting that its share price is 58% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Quarterhill pays an annual dividend of $0.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. Spherix does not pay a dividend. Quarterhill pays out -16.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

About Quarterhill

Quarterhill Inc. focuses on acquisition and management of technology companies that provides products and services worldwide. Its Technology segment licenses patent technologies to approximately 355 companies. Its patent portfolios include patents relating to 3D television, phased loop semiconductor, semiconductor manufacturing and packaging, medical stent, intelligent personal assistant, streaming video, semiconductor clocking, LED lighting, smart meter monitoring, non-volatile flash memory and other memory, building automation, enhanced image processing, computer gaming, and various other technologies; automotive headlight assemblies, microcontrollers applicable to safety-critical aerospace, and CMOS image sensors; and medical, industrial, and automotive applications. Its Mobility segment provides automated truck weigh stations; toll road systems and equipment; traffic management and safety systems; VectorSense, a tire sensor suite; Vehicle Information-In-Motion, a traffic intelligence system; integrated traffic control systems; permanent and portable slow speed weigh-in-motion systems; portable wheel load scales; traffic data collection products; vehicle and axle detection equipment; and automated vehicle identification, and other hardware and software products. It serves intelligent transportation systems industry through salespeople, distributors, agents, other contractors, and systems integrators, as well as directly. Its Factory segment creates and licenses enterprise asset management (EAM) software solutions to asset intensive industries through its salesforce, as well as Internet. It offers WorkAlign, a product suite, which consists of integrated products, such as scheduler, IIoT, mobile for EAM, maintenance budgeting, warranty tracker, and analytics; and consulting services. The company was formerly known as Wi-LAN Inc. and changed its name to Quarterhill Inc. in June 2017. Quarterhill Inc. was incorporated in 1992 and is headquartered in Kitchener, Canada.

About Spherix

Spherix Incorporated, a technology development company, owns, develops, acquires, and monetizes intellectual property assets. Its intellectual property is primarily consists of trade secrets, patented know-how, issued and pending patents, copyrights, and technological innovation. The company owns approximately 290 patents and patent applications. Its patent portfolio includes the U.S. and foreign patents and pending patent applications in the wireless communications and telecommunication sectors, including data, optical and voice technology, antenna technology, Wi-Fi, base station functionality, and cellular. Spherix Incorporated was founded in 1967 and is based in New York, New York.

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