GP Strategies Corporation (NYSE: GPX) and Universal Technical Institute (NYSE:UTI) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, risk, profitability, valuation and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares GP Strategies Corporation and Universal Technical Institute’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
GP Strategies Corporation 3.95% 12.16% 6.50%
Universal Technical Institute -4.87% -6.42% -3.06%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for GP Strategies Corporation and Universal Technical Institute, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
GP Strategies Corporation 0 1 1 0 2.50
Universal Technical Institute 0 1 0 0 2.00

GP Strategies Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $29.50, suggesting a potential upside of 8.26%. Universal Technical Institute has a consensus target price of $6.00, suggesting a potential upside of 79.10%. Given Universal Technical Institute’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Universal Technical Institute is more favorable than GP Strategies Corporation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

89.3% of GP Strategies Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 58.9% of Universal Technical Institute shares are held by institutional investors. 25.7% of GP Strategies Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 28.4% of Universal Technical Institute shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares GP Strategies Corporation and Universal Technical Institute’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
GP Strategies Corporation $490.56 million 0.93 $20.24 million $1.18 23.09
Universal Technical Institute $365.77 million 0.23 -$47.69 million ($0.87) -3.85

GP Strategies Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Universal Technical Institute. Universal Technical Institute 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.

Volatility and Risk

GP Strategies Corporation has a beta of 0.92, suggesting that its share price is 8% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Universal Technical Institute has a beta of 3.49, suggesting that its share price is 249% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

GP Strategies Corporation beats Universal Technical Institute on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About GP Strategies Corporation

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.

About Universal Technical Institute

Universal Technical Institute, Inc. is a provider of postsecondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians as measured by total average undergraduate full-time enrollment and graduates. The Company offers undergraduate degree or diploma programs at approximately 12 campuses across the United States under the banner of various brands, including Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute (collectively, MMI) and NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech). The Company also offers manufacturer specific advanced training (MSAT) programs, including student-paid electives, at its campuses and manufacturer or dealer sponsored training at certain campuses and dedicated training centers. UTI offers automotive, diesel and industrial, and collision repair and refinishing programs.

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