Appian (NASDAQ:APPN) vs. ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ:ACIW) Head-To-Head Survey

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ:ACIW) and Appian (NASDAQ:APPN) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, institutional ownership and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

28.7% of Appian shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.5% of ACI Worldwide shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 50.0% of Appian shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

ACI Worldwide has a beta of 1.25, suggesting that its share price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Appian has a beta of 1.4, suggesting that its share price is 40% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for ACI Worldwide and Appian, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ACI Worldwide 0 1 1 0 2.50
Appian 1 4 1 0 2.00

ACI Worldwide currently has a consensus target price of $32.50, suggesting a potential upside of 13.72%. Appian has a consensus target price of $36.18, suggesting a potential downside of 32.74%. Given ACI Worldwide’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe ACI Worldwide is more favorable than Appian.


This table compares ACI Worldwide and Appian’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ACI Worldwide 7.74% 10.14% 4.30%
Appian -23.12% -76.23% -24.89%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares ACI Worldwide and Appian’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ACI Worldwide $1.01 billion 3.13 $68.92 million $1.11 25.75
Appian $226.74 million 15.35 -$49.45 million ($0.80) -67.25

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


ACI Worldwide beats Appian on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

ACI Worldwide Company Profile

ACI Worldwide, Inc. provides software products and services for facilitating electronic payments to banks, financial intermediaries, merchants, and corporates worldwide. It offers UP Retail Payments solution that enables banks to accept, authorize, route, and secure payment transactions; and ACI Card and Merchant Management solutions, including credit, debit, smart card, and prepaid card issuance and management, as well as merchant account management and settlement. The company also provides UP Immediate Payments solution, which provides connectivity to country-level real-time payment schemes and create various products; and UP Real-Time Payments solution that allows banks to address RTGS, SWIFT messaging, ACH, and real-time payments. In addition, it offers Postilion; ACI PAY.ON Payments Gateway; ACI ReD Shield, a real-time fraud prevention solution, as well as UP eCommerce Payments solution; and UP Payments Risk Management solution and ACI Universal Online Banker platform. Further, the company provides UP Bill Payment solutions, which enable customers to present bills and collect payments from consumers electronically through a single and integrated platform that controls bill payments operation. Additionally, it offers bill presentment and payment collection services to consumer finance, insurance, healthcare, higher education, tax, and utility sectors; and implementation services, including installations, product configurations, and custom software modifications; business and technical consultancy, and on-site support services, as well as distributes or acts as a sales agent for software developed by third parties. The company markets its products and services under the ACI Worldwide, ACI Universal Payments, and ACI UP brand names. The company was formerly known as Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. and changed its name to ACI Worldwide, Inc. in July 2007. ACI Worldwide, Inc. was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Naples, Florida.

Appian Company Profile

Appian Corporation provides low-code software development platform that enables organizations to develop various applications in the United States and internationally. The company's platform automates the creation of forms, data flows, records, reports, and other software elements that are needed to be manually coded or configured. Its principal software markets include business process management systems, dynamic case management, digital process automation, and low-code development. The company also offers professional and customer support services. Its customers include financial services, life sciences, government, telecommunications, media, energy, manufacturing, and transportation organizations. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia.

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