Reviewing ePlus (PLUS) and Applied Visual Sciences (APVS)

ePlus (NASDAQ:PLUS) and Applied Visual Sciences (OTCMKTS:APVS) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

89.3% of ePlus shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 1.4% of Applied Visual Sciences shares are held by institutional investors. 2.7% of ePlus shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 33.0% of Applied Visual Sciences shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for ePlus and Applied Visual Sciences, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ePlus 0 2 1 0 2.33
Applied Visual Sciences 0 0 0 0 N/A

ePlus currently has a consensus price target of $94.00, suggesting a potential upside of 20.84%. Given ePlus’ higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe ePlus is more favorable than Applied Visual Sciences.

Profitability

This table compares ePlus and Applied Visual Sciences’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ePlus 4.20% 16.58% 8.32%
Applied Visual Sciences N/A N/A N/A

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares ePlus and Applied Visual Sciences’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ePlus $1.41 billion 0.76 $55.12 million $4.22 18.43
Applied Visual Sciences N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

ePlus has higher revenue and earnings than Applied Visual Sciences.

Volatility and Risk

ePlus has a beta of 1.22, meaning that its share price is 22% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Applied Visual Sciences has a beta of -1.06, meaning that its share price is 206% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

ePlus beats Applied Visual Sciences on 8 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

About ePlus

ePlus inc., through its subsidiaries, provides information technology solutions that enable organizations to optimize their information technology (IT) environment and supply chain processes in the United States. It operates in two segments, Technology and Financing. The Technology segment offers hardware, software, maintenance, software assurance, and internally-provided and outsourced services; and advanced professional and managed services, including ePlus managed, professional, security, staff augmentation, server and desktop support, and project management services. It also provides proprietary software products, such as OneSource IT, an online Web based software portal for customers purchasing IT equipment, software, and services; OneSource Procurement, a Web-based software tool to facilitate procurement of various assets; OneSource Asset Management, a software platform for managing and tracking corporate assets comprising vendor maintenance contracts; and OneSource DigitalPaper, a document management software application. The Financing segment specializes in financing arrangements that include direct financing, sales-type, and operating leases; notes receivable and consumption-based financing arrangements; and underwriting and management of IT equipment and assets. Its financing operations comprise sales, pricing, credit, contracts, accounting, risk management, and asset management. This segment primarily finances IT equipment, including accessories and software, communication-related equipment, and medical equipment; and industrial machinery, office furniture and general office, transportation, and other general business equipment directly, as well as through vendors. ePlus inc. serves commercial entities, state and local governments, government contractors, and educational institutions. The company was formerly known as MLC Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to ePlus inc. in 1999. ePlus inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.

About Applied Visual Sciences

Applied Visual Sciences, Inc., a software technology company, designs and develops computer-vision detection solutions based on image processing science for aviation/homeland security and healthcare markets. It utilizes imaging technologies and analytics to create integrated information management technology products and services that address problems for corporations and governmental agencies. The company offers PinPoint, an intelligent computer-vision automated target recognition technology for the detection of guns, explosives, and other threat items contained in baggage in the airport environment or for building security applications; and Signature Mapping platform technology for use in the imaging field of diagnostic radiology and pathology. It also provides Signature Mapping Detection System, an automated hardware-software laboratory solution used to operate various infectious disease applications through multi-threaded detection algorithms. In addition, the company offers Signature Mapping Tuberculosis Detection software, an automated hardware and software technology platform; and Signature Mapping Breast Cancer Detection, a breast cancer detection solution. Applied Visual Sciences, Inc. markets its products through direct sales and indirect distribution channels worldwide. The company was formerly known as Guardian Technologies International, Inc. and changed its name to Applied Visual Sciences, Inc. in July 2010. Applied Visual Sciences, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is based in Leesburg, Virginia.

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