Reviewing Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI) and Blackbaud (NASDAQ:BLKB)

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Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI) and Blackbaud (NASDAQ:BLKB) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Cogent Communications and Blackbaud’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cogent Communications 5.92% -22.47% 4.15%
Blackbaud 3.02% 21.47% 4.95%

Risk & Volatility

Cogent Communications has a beta of 0.56, suggesting that its share price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Blackbaud has a beta of 1.2, suggesting that its share price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

89.5% of Cogent Communications shares are held by institutional investors. 10.2% of Cogent Communications shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Blackbaud shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Cogent Communications and Blackbaud’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cogent Communications $520.19 million 5.55 $28.67 million $0.63 98.83
Blackbaud $848.61 million 4.89 $44.84 million $1.87 45.10

Blackbaud has higher revenue and earnings than Cogent Communications. Blackbaud is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cogent Communications, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Cogent Communications and Blackbaud, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cogent Communications 1 7 2 0 2.10
Blackbaud 1 10 0 0 1.91

Cogent Communications presently has a consensus price target of $54.00, indicating a potential downside of 13.27%. Blackbaud has a consensus price target of $91.17, indicating a potential upside of 8.09%. Given Blackbaud’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Blackbaud is more favorable than Cogent Communications.

Dividends

Cogent Communications pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.9%. Blackbaud pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. Cogent Communications pays out 381.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Blackbaud pays out 25.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cogent Communications has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Cogent Communications is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Cogent Communications beats Blackbaud on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cogent Communications Company Profile

Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides high-speed Internet access, private network, and data center colocation space services primarily to small and medium-sized businesses, communications service providers, and other bandwidth-intensive organizations in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Brazil. The company offers on-net Internet access and private network services to law firms, financial services firms, advertising and marketing firms, other professional services businesses, other Internet service providers, telephone companies, cable television companies, Web hosting companies, content delivery network companies, and commercial content and application service providers. It also provides on-net services in carrier-neutral data centers, Cogent controlled data centers, and single-tenant office buildings. In addition, the company offers off-net services to businesses that are connected to its network primarily by means of ?last mile' access service lines obtained from other carriers primarily in the form of metropolitan Ethernet circuits. Further, it provides Internet connectivity to customers that are not located in buildings directly connected to its network, as well as offers voice services. The company operates 52 data centers. Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Washington, the District of Columbia.

Blackbaud Company Profile

Blackbaud, Inc. provides cloud software solutions to nonprofits, foundations, companies, education institutions, healthcare organizations, individual change agents, and other charitable giving entities. The company offers fundraising and relationship management solutions and services, including Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT, Blackbaud CRM, Blackbaud Luminate CRM, Blackbaud eTapestry, Blackbaud TeamRaiser, everydayhero, Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, and Blackbaud Guided Fundraising; and marketing and engagement solutions, such as Blackbaud Luminate Online, Blackbaud Online Express, Blackbaud NetCommunity, Blackbaud Attentive.ly, and Blackbaud School Website System. It also provides Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT, Blackbaud Smart Tuition, and Blackbaud Smart Aid financial management solutions and services; and Blackbaud Grantmaking, Blackbaud Award Management, FIMS, and Blackbaud Outcomes grant and award management solutions. In addition, the company offers organizational and program management solutions and services comprising Blackbaud Student Information System, Blackbaud Learning Management System, Blackbaud Enrollment Management System, Blackbaud Altru, and Blackbaud Church Management; and Blackbaud Employee Giving and Blackbaud Employee Volunteering, and YourCause corporate social responsibility solutions. Further, it provides Blackbaud's SKY Intelligence analytics solutions, as well as donor acquisition, prospect research, data enrichment, and benchmarking and performance management solutions and services; and Blackbaud Merchant Services and Blackbaud Purchase Cards payment services. Additionally, the company offers customer support and maintenance, professional and managed, and training services. It has operations primarily in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. The company was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina.

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