GP Strategies Corporation (NYSE: GPX) and China Online Education Group (NYSE:COE) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, profitabiliy and earnings.

Volatility and Risk

GP Strategies Corporation has a beta of 0.93, meaning that its stock price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, China Online Education Group has a beta of -1.54, meaning that its stock price is 254% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares GP Strategies Corporation and China Online Education Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
GP Strategies Corporation 4.27% 12.56% 6.67%
China Online Education Group -117.94% -2,476.17% -78.28%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for GP Strategies Corporation and China Online Education Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
GP Strategies Corporation 0 1 1 0 2.50
China Online Education Group 0 0 0 0 N/A

GP Strategies Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $29.50, suggesting a potential upside of 5.55%. Given GP Strategies Corporation’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe GP Strategies Corporation is more favorable than China Online Education Group.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.8% of GP Strategies Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 24.1% of China Online Education Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 25.7% of GP Strategies Corporation 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.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares GP Strategies Corporation and China Online Education Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
GP Strategies Corporation $502.87 million 0.93 $39.32 million $1.28 21.84
China Online Education Group $74.79 million 5.21 -$79.04 million ($6.39) -3.04

GP Strategies Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than China Online Education Group. China Online Education Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than GP Strategies Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

GP Strategies Corporation beats China Online Education Group on 11 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

GP Strategies Corporation Company Profile

GP Strategies Corporation (GP Strategies) is a global performance improvement solutions provider of sales and technical training, e-learning solutions, management consulting and engineering services. The Company operates in five segments: Learning Solutions, Professional & Technical Services, Sandy Training & Marketing, RWD and Energy Services. Its clients include companies and governmental and other commercial customers in a variety of industries. It serves companies in the automotive, steel, oil and gas, power, chemical, electronics and technology, manufacturing, software, financial, retail, healthcare and food and beverage industries, as well as government agencies. On December 31, 2011, GP Strategies Corporation merged with and into its operating subsidiary, General Physics Corporation (General Physics). In April 2014, the Company acquired Effective-People and Effective-Learning companies.

China Online Education Group Company Profile

China Online Education Group is engaged in providing online English language education services to students in the People’s Republic of China (the PRC). The Company operates an online education platform that provides online tutoring programs to students through the Internet. Its platform analyzes teachers’ teaching aptitudes, feedback and rating from students, as well as background, and recommends suitable teachers to students according to their respective characteristics and learning objectives. The Company develops and tailors its curriculum to its interactive lesson format. The Company offers various courses, which include Classic English and Classic English Junior that are focused on the development of English communication skills. The Company also offers various specialty courses that are focused at situation-based English education and test preparation needs, such as Business English and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Speaking.

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