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

Earnings & Valuation

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This table compares Marine Products and American Public Education’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Marine Products $267.32 million 1.88 $19.30 million $0.56 25.95
American Public Education $299.25 million 2.36 $21.12 million $1.29 33.33

American Public Education has higher revenue and earnings than Marine Products. Marine Products 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.

Dividends

Marine Products pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. American Public Education does not pay a dividend. Marine Products pays out 71.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. American Public Education has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

Marine Products has a beta of 0.37, indicating that its share price is 63% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Public Education has a beta of 0.93, indicating that its share price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Marine Products and American Public Education, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marine Products 0 1 1 0 2.50
American Public Education 0 2 0 0 2.00

Marine Products presently has a consensus price target of $13.00, indicating a potential downside of 10.53%. American Public Education has a consensus price target of $35.50, indicating a potential downside of 17.44%. Given Marine Products’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Marine Products is more favorable than American Public Education.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

14.5% of Marine Products shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.6% of American Public Education shares are owned by institutional investors. 77.9% of Marine Products shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.6% of American Public Education shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marine Products 7.22% 29.88% 21.11%
American Public Education 7.06% 7.59% 6.43%

Summary

American Public Education beats Marine Products on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Marine Products

Marine Products Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells recreational fiberglass powerboats for the sportboat, deckboat, cruiser, jet boat, and sport fishing markets worldwide. It provides Chaparral sterndrive pleasure boats, including SSi and SSX sportboats, Sunesta sportdecks, Signature cruisers, SunCoast sportdeck outboards, Vortex Jet Boats, and Robalo outboard sport fishing boats, as well as H2O Sport, and Fish and Ski boats. The company sells its products to a network of 161 domestic and 92 international independent authorized dealers. Marine Products Corporation was founded in 1965 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

About American Public Education

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.

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