HMS Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: HMSY) and HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) are both medical companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, risk, valuation, institutional ownership and profitability.

Risk & Volatility

HMS Holdings Corp has a beta of 1.08, meaning that its share price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, HCA Holdings has a beta of 0.67, meaning that its share price is 33% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares HMS Holdings Corp and HCA Holdings’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
HMS Holdings Corp $495.50 million 2.98 $92.81 million $0.38 46.24
HCA Holdings $42.27 billion 0.68 $8.20 billion $7.47 10.64

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

93.0% of HMS Holdings Corp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.8% of HCA Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.2% of HMS Holdings Corp shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of HCA Holdings shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares HMS Holdings Corp and HCA Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
HMS Holdings Corp 6.37% 9.26% 5.81%
HCA Holdings 6.64% -48.08% 7.90%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for HMS Holdings Corp and HCA Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
HMS Holdings Corp 0 2 4 1 2.86
HCA Holdings 0 4 13 0 2.76

HMS Holdings Corp currently has a consensus price target of $23.21, indicating a potential upside of 32.12%. HCA Holdings has a consensus price target of $92.53, indicating a potential upside of 16.38%. Given HMS Holdings Corp’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe HMS Holdings Corp is more favorable than HCA Holdings.

Summary

HMS Holdings Corp beats HCA Holdings on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About HMS Holdings Corp

HMS Holdings Corp. is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in the United States healthcare insurance benefit cost containment marketplace. It provides coordination of benefits services to government, and private healthcare payers and sponsors. Its payment integrity services ensure that healthcare claims billed are accurate and appropriate. It offers services to state Medicaid agencies, government health agencies and health plans, including Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and group and individual health lines of business; government and private employers; and other healthcare payers and sponsors, including child support agencies. It serves approximately 45 state Medicaid programs and the District of Columbia, and government health agencies, including Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). It also provides services to approximately 250 health plans and supports their multiple lines of business.

About HCA Holdings

HCA Healthcare, Inc., formerly HCA Holdings, Inc., is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates hospitals and related healthcare entities. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated in two geographically organized groups, including the National and American Groups. As of December 31, 2016, the National Group included 84 hospitals, which were located in Alaska, California, Florida, southern Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, northern Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. As of December 31, 2016, the American Group included 80 hospitals, which were located in Colorado, northern Georgia, Kansas, southern Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated six hospitals in England. The Company owns, manages or operates hospitals, freestanding surgery centers and freestanding emergency care facilities, walk-in clinics, diagnostic and imaging centers, among others.

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