American Public Education (NASDAQ: APEI) and Xueda Education Group (NYSE:XUE) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares American Public Education and Xueda Education Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Public Education $313.14 million 1.39 $24.15 million $1.20 22.29
Xueda Education Group N/A N/A N/A ($0.15) -36.27

American Public Education has higher revenue and earnings than Xueda Education Group. Xueda Education Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than American Public Education, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares American Public Education and Xueda Education Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Public Education 6.54% 7.20% 6.05%
Xueda Education Group -4.53% -15.97% -4.86%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for American Public Education and Xueda Education Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Public Education 0 2 0 0 2.00
Xueda Education Group 0 0 0 0 N/A

American Public Education currently has a consensus target price of $24.50, suggesting a potential downside of 8.41%. Given American Public Education’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe American Public Education is more favorable than Xueda Education Group.

Risk and Volatility

American Public Education has a beta of 1.26, suggesting that its share price is 26% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Xueda Education Group has a beta of 1.56, suggesting that its share price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

90.9% of American Public Education shares are held by institutional investors. 3.6% of American Public Education shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

American Public Education beats Xueda Education Group on 8 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

American Public Education Company Profile

American Public Education, Inc. provides online and on-campus postsecondary education. The Company provides postsecondary education through its subsidiary institutions, American Public University System, Inc. (APUS) and Hondros College of Nursing (HCON). It operates through two segments: American Public Education Segment, which consists of the operational activities of APUS, other corporate activities, and minority investments, and Hondros College of Nursing Segment, which consists of the operational activities of HCON. APUS provides online postsecondary education to approximately 88,700 adult learners serving the needs of the military and public safety communities as of December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, HCON provided nursing education to approximately 1,300 students across five campuses in the State of Ohio, as well as online. It offers a Diploma in Practical Nursing and an Associate Degree in Nursing. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had approximately 90,000 students.

Xueda Education Group Company Profile

Xueda Education Group is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries and consolidated variable interest entity (VIE), is engaged in providing private personalized tutoring services for primary and secondary school students in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Company has developed and implemented a results-oriented, student-centric service delivery model. The Company’s personalized service model consists of six components: assessment, consultation, formulation of a customized study plan, personalized tutoring, delivery of student-oriented supporting services and results. The Company’s learning centers are directly operated by it under its Xueda brand. The Company delivers its services to students through a national network, consisting of approximately 467 learning centers, all of which are operated by it, in 85 cities in China.

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