China Finance Online Co. Limited (NASDAQ: JRJC) and Autobytel (NASDAQ:ABTL) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, valuation and risk.

Profitability

This table compares China Finance Online Co. Limited and Autobytel’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
China Finance Online Co. Limited -20.77% -29.29% -17.01%
Autobytel 3.19% 11.95% 8.77%

Risk & Volatility

China Finance Online Co. Limited has a beta of 2.45, suggesting that its share price is 145% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Autobytel has a beta of 0.92, suggesting that its share price is 8% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares China Finance Online Co. Limited and Autobytel’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
China Finance Online Co. Limited $83.06 million 0.53 -$18.49 million ($0.62) -3.02
Autobytel $157.78 million 0.86 $15.68 million $0.38 32.42

Autobytel has higher revenue and earnings than China Finance Online Co. Limited. China Finance Online Co. Limited is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Autobytel, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for China Finance Online Co. Limited and Autobytel, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
China Finance Online Co. Limited 0 0 0 0 N/A
Autobytel 0 0 2 0 3.00

Autobytel has a consensus price target of $24.00, indicating a potential upside of 94.81%. Given Autobytel’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Autobytel is more favorable than China Finance Online Co. Limited.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

7.2% of China Finance Online Co. Limited shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 64.9% of Autobytel shares are owned by institutional investors. 30.4% of China Finance Online Co. Limited shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 13.3% of Autobytel shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Autobytel beats China Finance Online Co. Limited on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About China Finance Online Co. Limited

China Finance Online Co. Limited is a Web-based financial services company in China. The Company provides Chinese retail investors with online access to securities and commodities trading services, wealth management products, securities investment advisory services, as well as financial database and analytics services to institutional customers. The Company operates through three segments: commodities brokerage services, online financial information and advisory service, and other related services in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Hong Kong brokerage services. The Company offers financial software, information services and securities investment advisory services to retail investors in China. Through its subsidiary, Shenzhen Genius Information Technology Co., Ltd., the Company provides financial database and analytics to institutional customers, including domestic financial, research, academic and regulatory institutions.

About Autobytel

Autobytel Inc. is an automotive marketing services company that assists automotive retail dealers and automotive manufacturers market and sell new and used vehicles to consumers through the programs for online lead referrals, dealer marketing products and services, and online advertising programs and mobile products. The Company operates through providing automotive marketing services segment. Its consumer-facing automotive Websites, including Website Autobytel.com, provide consumers with information and tools to aid them with the automotive purchase decisions and ability to submit inquiries requesting dealers to contact the consumers regarding purchasing or leasing vehicles. Its AutoWeb pay-per-click advertising marketplace program uses technology to refer consumer traffic to dealers and manufacturer Websites. For consumers who may not be able to secure loans through conventional lending sources, the Websites provide these consumers the ability to submit inquiries requesting dealers.

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