Financial Analysis: ImageWare Systems (IWSY) versus Cision (CISN)

ImageWare Systems (OTCMKTS:IWSY) and Cision (NYSE:CISN) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and profitability.

Volatility and Risk

ImageWare Systems has a beta of 0.54, indicating that its share price is 46% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cision has a beta of 0.57, indicating that its share price is 43% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares ImageWare Systems and Cision’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ImageWare Systems $4.29 million 18.28 -$10.06 million ($0.15) -5.40
Cision $631.64 million 2.63 -$123.04 million $0.57 21.98

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

Profitability

This table compares ImageWare Systems and Cision’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ImageWare Systems -257.83% N/A -113.56%
Cision -6.65% 31.58% 5.26%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

0.2% of ImageWare Systems shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 52.8% of Cision shares are held by institutional investors. 47.7% of ImageWare Systems shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 6.7% of Cision shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for ImageWare Systems and Cision, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ImageWare Systems 0 0 0 0 N/A
Cision 0 3 8 0 2.73

Cision has a consensus target price of $18.20, suggesting a potential upside of 45.25%. Given Cision’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Cision is more favorable than ImageWare Systems.

Summary

Cision beats ImageWare Systems on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

ImageWare Systems Company Profile

ImageWare Systems, Inc. provides biometrically enabled software-based identity management solutions for biometrics, secure credential, law enforcement, and public safety markets worldwide. Its flagship product is the patented IWS Biometric Engine, a multi-biometric software platform that enables the enrollment and management of unlimited population sizes. The company also offers GoMobile Interactive that enables business, service, and content providers to offer users biometric security for their products, services, and content; IWS PIV (personal identity verification) Management Application that supplies Web-based graphical user interface to server functions; IWS PIV Middleware, which connects card reader and PIV card; IWS Background Server, a software application for biometric identity management functions; IWS Desktop Security, an authentication management platform; and IWS Biometric Quality Assessment and Enhancement, a biometric image enhancement and assessment solution. Its secure credential products include GoVerifyID, a biometric authentication solution; IWS Card Management System to support and manage the issuance of smart cards; IWS EPI Suite, an ID software solution for producing, issuing, and managing credentials and personal identification cards; IWS EPI Builder, which offers various aspects of ID functionality; IWS EPI PrintFarm software for card printing; and IWS PIV Encoder to program the PIV smart cards. In addition, the company provides IWS Law Enforcement, a digital booking, identification, and investigative solution; and LiveScan, Capture, Facial Recognition, Law Enforcement Web, Witness View, and IWS Biometric Engine add-on modules, as well as maintenance and customer support, and software customization and fulfillment services. It serves healthcare, banking, retail/e-commerce, government, and law enforcement and public safety markets. ImageWare Systems, Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Cision Company Profile

Cision Ltd. provides public relations (PR) software, media distribution, media intelligence, and related professional services worldwide. The company enables public relations and communications professionals to manage, execute, and measure their strategic PR and communications programs. It offers Cision Communications Cloud, an earned media cloud-based platform that brands can use to build relationships with influencers and buyers in order to amplify their marketplace influence; and provides media database that offers access to influencers when planning a campaign, as well as to schedule and record various interactions with contacts. The company also provides PR Newswire that offers wire distribution services, as well as a suite of products and services for investor relations (IR) professionals, including distribution for earnings and other material news, Webcasts and conference calls, IR Website hosting, and virtual investor conferences; iReach, WebMax, and PRWeb products to distribute shorter releases with Web-focused delivery and search engine discovery; and iContact, a cloud-based email and social marketing software application to create, publish, and distribute professional-quality emails, as well as multimedia content and broadcast distribution services. In addition, it offers media monitoring software that tracks and monitors content on digital, print, social, and broadcast sources. Further, the company enables its customers to assess media coverage by collecting and analyzing data and metrics on audience engagement, campaign reach and effectiveness, sentiment, and competitive benchmarking to quantify campaign results of earned media strategies, as well as provides data-driven insights that inform the creation of future campaigns and marketing investment. Cision Ltd. was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

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