SORL Auto Parts (NASDAQ: SORL) and China Automotive Systems (NASDAQ:CAAS) are both small-cap auto/tires/trucks companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, risk, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares SORL Auto Parts and China Automotive Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SORL Auto Parts 8.80% 15.84% 8.74%
China Automotive Systems 5.43% 8.41% 4.11%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

6.3% of SORL Auto Parts shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 5.2% of China Automotive Systems shares are held by institutional investors. 58.9% of SORL Auto Parts shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 62.2% of China Automotive Systems shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares SORL Auto Parts and China Automotive Systems’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SORL Auto Parts $292.18 million 0.37 $39.23 million $1.33 4.19
China Automotive Systems $481.15 million 0.33 $43.35 million $0.82 6.10

China Automotive Systems has higher revenue and earnings than SORL Auto Parts. SORL Auto Parts is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than China Automotive Systems, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

SORL Auto Parts has a beta of 1.57, meaning that its stock price is 57% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, China Automotive Systems has a beta of 2.22, meaning that its stock price is 122% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for SORL Auto Parts and China Automotive Systems, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SORL Auto Parts 0 0 1 0 3.00
China Automotive Systems 0 0 1 0 3.00

SORL Auto Parts currently has a consensus price target of $6.00, indicating a potential upside of 7.72%. China Automotive Systems has a consensus price target of $7.50, indicating a potential upside of 50.00%. Given China Automotive Systems’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe China Automotive Systems is more favorable than SORL Auto Parts.

About SORL Auto Parts

SORL Auto Parts, Inc., through its interests in the Ruili Group Ruian Auto Parts Co., Ltd., a Sino-foreign joint venture (Joint Venture), develops, manufactures and distributes automotive brake systems and other safety related auto parts to automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and the related aftermarket both in China and abroad. The Company operates through two segments: Commercial Vehicle Brake Systems and Passenger Vehicle Brake Systems. The Company’s products are principally used in different types of commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses, and include a range of products covering approximately 65 categories and over 2,000 specifications in automotive brake systems. The Company sells its products to approximately 70 vehicle manufacturers, including all of the primary truck manufacturers in China.

About China Automotive Systems

China Automotive Systems, Inc., (China Automotive) is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiary, Great Genesis Holdings Limited (Genesis), owns interests in over eight Sino-joint ventures and over five subsidiaries in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which manufacture power steering systems and/or related products for various segments of the automobile industry. Genesis also owns interests in a Brazil-based trading company, which engages mainly in the import and sales of automotive parts in Brazil. Henglong USA Corporation (HLUSA), which is a subsidiary of the Company, engages in marketing of automotive parts in North America, and provides after sales service and research and development support. The Company’s geographical segments include the United States, China and other foreign countries. One of its subsidiaries, Shenyang Jinbei Henglong Automotive Steering System Co., Ltd., focuses on power steering parts for light duty vehicles.

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