Mitek Systems (NASDAQ: MITK) and Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Mitek Systems and Palo Alto Networks’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mitek Systems 12.89% 6.68% 5.47%
Palo Alto Networks -8.65% -8.51% -1.64%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

45.9% of Mitek Systems shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 82.3% of Palo Alto Networks shares are held by institutional investors. 7.5% of Mitek Systems shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.8% of Palo Alto Networks shares are held by company 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Mitek Systems and Palo Alto Networks, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mitek Systems 0 0 4 0 3.00
Palo Alto Networks 1 4 35 0 2.85

Mitek Systems currently has a consensus price target of $12.25, indicating a potential upside of 33.88%. Palo Alto Networks has a consensus price target of $200.78, indicating a potential downside of 6.85%. Given Mitek Systems’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Mitek Systems is more favorable than Palo Alto Networks.

Risk & Volatility

Mitek Systems has a beta of 0.42, meaning that its share price is 58% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Palo Alto Networks has a beta of 0.99, meaning that its share price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Mitek Systems and Palo Alto Networks’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mitek Systems $45.39 million 7.07 $14.09 million $0.21 43.57
Palo Alto Networks $1.76 billion 11.37 -$216.60 million ($1.71) -126.06

Mitek Systems has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Palo Alto Networks. Palo Alto Networks is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Mitek Systems, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Mitek Systems beats Palo Alto Networks on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Mitek Systems Company Profile

Mitek Systems, Inc. develops, markets, and sells mobile image capture and identity verification software solutions for enterprise customers worldwide. The company's solutions are embedded in native mobile apps and mobile optimized Websites to enhance mobile user experiences and transactions. It offers Mobile Deposit that allows individuals and businesses to remotely deposit checks using their camera-equipped smartphone or tablet; Mobile Verify, an identity verification solution that can be integrated into mobile apps, mobile Websites, and desktop applications; Mobile Fill to pre-fill forms with personal data by simply snapping a picture of the consumer's driver license, credit card, or other document; Mobile Docs, a mobile document scanning solution; and MiSnap Multi-Check Capture, a software development kit that banks embed in their business banking app that facilitates capture of various checks in one deposit session. The company markets and sells its solutions primarily to banks, credit unions, lenders, payments processers, card issuers, insurers, etc. through direct sales teams and channel partners. Mitek Systems, Inc. was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Palo Alto Networks Company Profile

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. provides security platform solutions worldwide. Its platform includes Next-Generation Firewall that delivers application, user, and content visibility and control, as well as protection against network-based cyber threats; Advanced Endpoint Protection, which prevents cyber-attacks that exploit software vulnerabilities on various fixed, mobile, and virtual endpoints and servers; and Threat Intelligence Cloud, which offers central intelligence capabilities, security for software as a service applications, and automated delivery of preventative measures against cyber-attacks. The company provides firewall appliances and software; Panorama, a security management solution for the control of appliances deployed on an end-customer's network as a virtual or a physical appliance; and Virtual System Upgrades, which are available as extensions to the virtual system capacity that ships with physical appliances. It also offers subscription services covering the areas of threat prevention, uniform resource locator filtering, malware and persistent threat, laptop and mobile device protection, and firewall, as well as cyber-attack, threat intelligence, and content control. In addition, the company provides support services; and professional services, including application traffic management, solution design and planning, configuration, and firewall migration, as well as online and classroom-style education training services. Palo Alto Networks, Inc. sells its products and services through its channel partners, as well as directly to medium to large enterprises, service providers, and government entities operating in various industries, including education, energy, financial services, government entities, healthcare, Internet and media, manufacturing, public sector, and telecommunications. The company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

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