Critical Contrast: Ascent Capital Group (ASCMA) and NV5 (NVEE)

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ: ASCMA) and NV5 (NASDAQ:NVEE) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, valuation, risk and dividends.

Profitability

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This table compares Ascent Capital Group and NV5’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ascent Capital Group -19.43% -62.29% -5.12%
NV5 7.21% 15.89% 9.18%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

85.4% of Ascent Capital Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 56.1% of NV5 shares are owned by institutional investors. 10.2% of Ascent Capital Group shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 26.0% of NV5 shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Ascent Capital Group has a beta of 1.81, indicating that its share price is 81% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, NV5 has a beta of 1.04, indicating that its share price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Ascent Capital Group and NV5, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ascent Capital Group 0 2 1 0 2.33
NV5 0 1 3 0 2.75

Ascent Capital Group currently has a consensus target price of $11.67, indicating a potential upside of 201.46%. NV5 has a consensus target price of $58.00, indicating a potential downside of 6.22%. Given Ascent Capital Group’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Ascent Capital Group is more favorable than NV5.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Ascent Capital Group and NV5’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ascent Capital Group $553.46 million 0.09 -$107.55 million ($8.83) -0.44
NV5 $333.03 million 2.01 $24.00 million $2.38 25.99

NV5 has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Ascent Capital Group. Ascent Capital Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than NV5, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

NV5 beats Ascent Capital Group on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ascent Capital Group Company Profile

Ascent Capital Group, Inc., through its subsidiary, Monitronics International, Inc., provides security alarm monitoring services to residential and commercial customers in the United States, Canada, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The company provides monitoring services for alarm signals arising from burglaries, fires, medical alerts, and other events through security systems at customers' premises. It also offers home automation services, including remote activation and control of security systems, support for video monitoring, flood sensors, automated garage door and door lock capabilities, and thermostat integration; hands-free two-way interactive voice communication between its monitoring center and customers; and customer service and technical support related to home monitoring systems and home automation services. The company also provides maintenance and wholesale contract monitoring services to other security alarm companies. It markets and sells its products through a network of authorized dealers. The company was formerly known as Ascent Media Corporation and changed its name to Ascent Capital Group, Inc. in July 2011. Ascent Capital Group, Inc. was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

NV5 Company Profile

NV5 Global, Inc. provides professional and technical engineering and consulting services to public and private sector clients in the infrastructure, energy, construction, real estate, and environmental markets in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, Infrastructure; and Building, Technology & Sciences. The company offers site selection and planning, design, water resources, transportation, structural engineering, land development, surveying, power delivery, building code compliance, and other services; and construction materials testing and engineering, geotechnical engineering and consulting, and forensic consulting services. It also provides governmental outsourcing and consulting, and technical outsourcing services, as well as building program management services. In addition, the company offers mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design services; commissioning services; energy performance, management, and optimization services; acoustical design consulting services; and audiovisual?security and surveillance?information technology?data center services, as well as energy services. Further, it provides various services, such as investigating and analyzing environmental conditions, and recommending corrective measures and procedures; occupational health and safety services; hydrogeological modeling and environmental programs; water resource planning, monitoring, and environmental management of wastewater facilities; solid waste landfill investigations; permitting and compliance; storm water pollution; environmental impact statement support; agricultural waste management and permitting; and wetland evaluations. The company was formerly known as NV5 Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to NV5 Global, Inc. in December 2015. NV5 Global, Inc. was founded in 1949 and is headquartered in Hollywood, Florida.

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