Reviewing Leidos Holdings (LDOS) and Nielsen N.V. (NLSN)

Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) and Leidos Holdings (NYSE:LDOS) are both mid-cap business services companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, earnings and valuation.

Dividends

Nielsen N.V. pays an annual dividend of $1.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Leidos Holdings pays an annual dividend of $1.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Nielsen N.V. pays out 103.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Leidos Holdings pays out 57.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Nielsen N.V. has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years and Leidos Holdings has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Nielsen N.V. and Leidos Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nielsen N.V. 0 7 6 0 2.46
Leidos Holdings 0 3 6 0 2.67

Nielsen N.V. presently has a consensus price target of $48.38, suggesting a potential upside of 26.17%. Leidos Holdings has a consensus price target of $56.11, suggesting a potential upside of 3.95%. Given Nielsen N.V.’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Nielsen N.V. is more favorable than Leidos Holdings.

Risk and Volatility

Nielsen N.V. has a beta of 0.9, indicating that its share price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Leidos Holdings has a beta of 1.74, indicating that its share price is 74% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Nielsen N.V. and Leidos Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nielsen N.V. 7.45% 17.52% 4.83%
Leidos Holdings 3.16% 16.70% 5.66%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Nielsen N.V. and Leidos Holdings’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nielsen N.V. $6.35 billion 2.16 $1.63 billion $1.31 29.28
Leidos Holdings $8.31 billion 0.98 $779.00 million $2.21 24.43

Nielsen N.V. has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Leidos Holdings. Leidos Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Nielsen N.V., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.8% of Nielsen N.V. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.3% of Leidos Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.2% of Nielsen N.V. shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.7% of Leidos Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Nielsen N.V. beats Leidos Holdings on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Nielsen N.V.

Nielsen N.V. (Nielsen), formerly Nielsen Holdings N.V., is an information and measurement company. The Company is engaged in providing clients with an understanding of consumers and consumer behavior. The Company delivers media and marketing information, and analytics on a global and local basis. Nielsen operates through two business segments: Buy and Watch. The Company’s Buy segment provides consumer purchasing measurement and analytics. Its Watch segment provides media audience measurement and analytics. Nielsen offers its clients the ability to activate in real-time Nielsen audience insights as well as various consumer segments from over 200 data providers. The Company offers its services to various clients, such as The Coca-Cola Company, NBC Universal, Nestle S.A., The Procter & Gamble Company, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and the Unilever Group.

About Leidos Holdings

Leidos Holdings, Inc. (Leidos) is a science and technology solutions company focused on delivering solutions primarily in the areas of national security, health and engineering. The Company is a holding company whose direct 100%-owned subsidiary is Leidos, Inc., which delivers science and technology solutions in the areas of national security, health and engineering to agencies of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the intelligence community, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and other United States Government civil agencies, state and local government agencies, foreign governments and customers across a variety of commercial markets. The Company’s segments include Health and Engineering and National Security Solutions. On September 27, 2013, Leidos completed the separation of its technical services and enterprise information technology services business into an independent, publicly traded company named Science Applications International Corporation.

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