Veritone (NASDAQ:VERI) and Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Veritone and Upwork’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Veritone -118.27% -119.92% -52.82%
Upwork -6.44% -7.85% -4.51%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Veritone and Upwork, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Veritone 0 1 3 0 2.75
Upwork 0 2 4 0 2.67

Veritone presently has a consensus target price of $9.75, suggesting a potential downside of 42.41%. Upwork has a consensus target price of $12.86, suggesting a potential downside of 9.71%. Given Upwork’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Upwork is more favorable than Veritone.

Volatility and Risk

Veritone has a beta of 2.68, indicating that its stock price is 168% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Upwork has a beta of 1.78, indicating that its stock price is 78% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

10.8% of Veritone shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 55.2% of Upwork shares are held by institutional investors. 25.6% of Veritone shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 25.3% of Upwork shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Veritone $49.65 million 9.24 -$62.08 million ($2.85) -5.94
Upwork $300.56 million 5.46 -$16.66 million ($0.15) -94.93

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

Summary

Upwork beats Veritone on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Veritone Company Profile

Veritone, Inc. provides artificial intelligence (AI) and computing solutions in the United States and the United Kingdom. It develops and operates aiWARE platform, an AI operating system that unlocks the power of cognitive computing to transform audio, video, and other unstructured data, as well as analyzes it in conjunction with structured data in an orchestrated and automated manner to generate actionable intelligence. The company also provides media advertising agency services, including media planning and strategy, media buying and placement, campaign messaging, clearance verification and attribution, and custom analytics directly to advertisers through outbound sales networking, and client and partner referrals, as well as indirectly through advertising agencies or marketing consultants. It serves media owners and broadcasters; legal and compliance markets, including consulting firms, managed services providers, large law firms and corporate legal departments, financial services, and healthcare and other companies; state, local, federal, and international law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, and other governmental agencies, as well as resellers and system integrators; and politics market, including political parties, elected officials and political campaigns, political action committees, and special interest groups. The company was formerly known as Veritone Delaware, Inc. and changed its name to Veritone, Inc. in July 2014. Veritone, Inc. was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California.

Upwork Company Profile

Upwork Inc. operates an online marketplace that enables businesses (clients) to find and work with various independent professionals and agencies (freelancers). The company's platform provides access to talent with approximately 5,000 skills across approximately 70 categories, including content marketing, customer service, data science and analytics, graphic design, mobile development, sales, and Web development. Its platform also enables clients to streamline workflows, such as talent sourcing, outreach, and contracting. In addition, the company's platform offers access to various functionalities for remote engagements with freelancers comprising communication and collaboration, time tracking, invoicing, and payment. Further, its marketplace offerings include Upwork Standard, Upwork Enterprise, and Upwork Payroll, as well as managed and Internet escrow agency services. The company has opeations in the United States, India, the Philippines, and internationally. The company was formerly known as Elance-oDesk, Inc. and changed its name to Upwork Inc. in May 2015. Upwork Inc. was incorporated in 2013 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

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