Head to Head Analysis: BlackLine (NASDAQ:BL) versus Workiva (WK)

Workiva (NYSE: WK) and BlackLine (NASDAQ:BL) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, risk, earnings and valuation.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

44.0% of Workiva shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.4% of BlackLine shares are owned by institutional investors. 29.9% of Workiva shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 18.6% of BlackLine shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Workiva and BlackLine’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Workiva $207.87 million 5.24 -$44.42 million ($1.07) -23.83
BlackLine $177.03 million 12.61 -$38.06 million ($0.37) -112.89

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

Risk and Volatility

Workiva has a beta of 0.55, suggesting that its stock price is 45% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BlackLine has a beta of -0.42, suggesting that its stock price is 142% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Workiva and BlackLine, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Workiva 0 5 3 0 2.38
BlackLine 1 1 3 0 2.40

Workiva currently has a consensus target price of $23.83, indicating a potential downside of 6.54%. BlackLine has a consensus target price of $41.00, indicating a potential downside of 1.84%. Given BlackLine’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe BlackLine is more favorable than Workiva.


This table compares Workiva and BlackLine’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Workiva -22.33% N/A -29.84%
BlackLine -19.09% -6.01% -4.16%


BlackLine beats Workiva on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Workiva

Workiva Inc. provides cloud solutions for the finance and accounting, audit and internal controls, risk and compliance, and performance and management reporting markets in the United States and internationally. The company provides Wdesk, a platform with proprietary word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications to collect, link, report, and analyze the business data, as well as to create, review, and publish data-linked documents and reports. As of December 31, 2017, it had subscriptions from 3,063 enterprises, including various Fortune 500 companies. The company was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Ames, Iowa.

About BlackLine

BlackLine, Inc. provides financial accounting close solutions delivered as a Software as a Service in the United States and internationally. Its solutions enables its customers to address various aspects of their financial closing process, including account reconciliations, variance analysis of account balances, and journal entry capabilities, as well as a range of data matching capabilities. The company's solutions comprise reconciliation management solution that consists of account reconciliations, transaction matching, consolidation integrity manager, and daily reconciliations; and a framework for the reconciliation process, which allows users to build integrity checks and automation into the entire end-to-end work flow. Its solutions also comprise financial close management solution that includes task management, journal entry, and variance analysis; and allows customers to manage the key steps within the close, applying automation where possible, and ensure that tasks are properly completed and reviewed. In addition, the company provides intercompany hub solution comprising intercompany workflow and processing, and netting and settlement, as well as manages the intercompany transaction lifecycle within its platform. Further, it offers a range of key performance indicators that enable clients to compare metrics across their own operating entities, set goals, and gauge their performance over time; and services, such as implementation, support, customer success, and training services. The company sells its platform, primarily through direct sales force to enterprises, mid-market companies, and multinational corporations. BlackLine, Inc. has a strategic alliance with Ernst & Young LLP to expand process automation capabilities and finance transformation services. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

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