News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWSA) and A.H. Belo Corporation (NYSE:AHC) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, profitability and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for News Corporation and A.H. Belo Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
News Corporation 0 2 2 0 2.50
A.H. Belo Corporation 0 0 0 0 N/A

News Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $15.50, indicating a potential downside of 1.08%. Given News Corporation’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe News Corporation is more favorable than A.H. Belo Corporation.

Volatility and Risk

News Corporation has a beta of 1.99, indicating that its stock price is 99% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, A.H. Belo Corporation has a beta of 0.76, indicating that its stock price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

News Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. A.H. Belo Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.6%. News Corporation pays out -17.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. A.H. Belo Corporation pays out -32.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. A.H. Belo Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares News Corporation and A.H. Belo Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
News Corporation -7.96% 2.27% 1.74%
A.H. Belo Corporation -8.59% 1.70% 0.80%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

60.9% of News Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 57.1% of A.H. Belo Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 13.9% of News Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 12.6% of A.H. Belo Corporation shares are held 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.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares News Corporation and A.H. Belo Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
News Corporation $8.14 billion 1.12 -$738.00 million ($1.13) -13.87
A.H. Belo Corporation $259.98 million 0.41 -$19.31 million ($1.00) -4.85

A.H. Belo Corporation has higher revenue, but lower earnings than News Corporation. News Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than A.H. Belo Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

News Corporation beats A.H. Belo Corporation on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About News Corporation

News Corporation is a diversified media and information services company. The Company operates in five segments: News and Information Services, Cable Network Programming, Digital Real Estate Services, Book Publishing, and Other. The Company’s business consists of range of media, including news and information services, sports programming in Australia, digital real estate services, book publishing, and pay-television (TV) distribution in Australia, that are distributed under the brands, including The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Herald Sun, The Sun, The Times, HarperCollins Publishers, FOX SPORTS Australia and realestate.com.au. The Company is a developing provider of digital education content, assessment and delivery services. The Company’s business component includes News and Information Services, Cable Network Programming, Digital Real Estate Services, Book Publishing, Amplify and Foxtel. In July 2014, it completed the acquisition of Harlequin Enterprises from Torstar Corp.

About A.H. Belo Corporation

A. H. Belo Corporation is a local news and information publishing company. The Company is engaged in providing commercial printing, distribution and direct mail services, as well as media and digital marketing services. The Company operates through two segments: Publishing and Marketing, Event Marketing and Other Services (MEMO). The Company’s Publishing segment includes its print operations associated with its newspapers, publications and related Websites. The Company’s publishing segment includes the operations of The Dallas Morning News (www.dallasnews.com), a Texas newspaper, and the Denton Record-Chronicle (www.dentonrc.com), a daily newspaper operating in Denton, Texas. The Company’s MEMO segment consists of marketing, event marketing and other businesses. It offers digital marketing solutions through Your Speakeasy, LLC (Speakeasy) and DMV Digital Holdings Company, Inc., and provides event promotion and marketing services through DMN CrowdSource LLC (CrowdSource).

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