Lands’ End (NASDAQ: LE) and Express (NYSE:EXPR) are both small-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Lands’ End and Express, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lands’ End 0 2 0 0 2.00
Express 0 7 1 0 2.13

Lands’ End currently has a consensus target price of $15.00, indicating a potential upside of 27.66%. Express has a consensus target price of $9.61, indicating a potential upside of 46.07%. Given Express’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Express is more favorable than Lands’ End.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

60.5% of Lands’ End shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.2% of Express shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.5% of Lands’ End shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.6% of Express shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Lands’ End has a beta of 0.3, meaning that its stock price is 70% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Express has a beta of 1.44, meaning that its stock price is 44% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Lands’ End and Express’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lands’ End -8.48% -0.73% -0.19%
Express 0.85% 4.25% 2.24%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Lands’ End and Express’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lands’ End $1.34 billion 0.28 $39.65 million ($3.55) -3.31
Express $2.13 billion 0.24 $148.37 million $0.23 28.61

Express has higher revenue and earnings than Lands’ End. Lands’ End is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Express, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Express beats Lands’ End on 12 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lands’ End Company Profile

Lands’ End, Inc. (Lands’ End) is a multi-channel retailer of casual clothing, accessories and footwear, as well as home products. The Company operates through two segments: Direct and Retail. The Company offers products through catalogs, online at www.landsend.com. The Direct segment sells products through the Company’s e-commerce Websites, international Websites and direct mail catalogs. The Retail segment sells products and services through Lands’ End Shops at Sears across the United States, the Company’s standalone Lands’ End Inlet stores and international shop-in-shops. The Company’s product categories include Apparel and Non-apparel. The Non-apparel category offers accessories, footwear and home goods. The Company provides embroidery, monogramming, gift wrapping, shipping and other services. In addition, the Company offers sheets and pillowcases, duvet covers and comforters, blankets and throws, mattress pads, towels, rugs and mats, school uniforms and shower curtains.

Express Company Profile

Express, Inc. is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer offering both women’s and men’s merchandise. The Company targets women and men between 20 and 30 years old. It offers an assortment of fashionable apparel and accessories to address fashion needs across multiple aspects of lifestyles, including work, casual, jeanswear and going-out occasions. It is engaged in the operation of its brick-and-mortar retail and outlet stores, e-commerce operations and franchise operations. It sells its products through its e-commerce Website, www.express.com and its mobile application, and has franchise agreements with franchisees that operate Express locations in Latin America. It operated 656 stores across the United States, in Canada and in Puerto Rico, including 104 factory outlet stores, as of January 28, 2017. Its products are created by its in-house design team. Its portfolio of apparel products includes brands, such as Portofino shirt, Editor pant and 1MX shirt.

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