American Public Education (NASDAQ: APEI) and Franklin Covey Company (NYSE:FC) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, risk, profitabiliy, valuation, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

93.5% of American Public Education shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 54.3% of Franklin Covey Company shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.6% of American Public Education shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 33.5% of Franklin Covey Company shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares American Public Education and Franklin Covey Company’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Public Education $304.86 million 1.24 $60.79 million $1.13 20.58
Franklin Covey Company $191.55 million 1.42 $9.19 million ($0.05) -393.00

American Public Education has higher revenue and earnings than Franklin Covey Company. Franklin Covey Company is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than American Public Education, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for American Public Education and Franklin Covey Company, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Public Education 0 2 0 0 2.00
Franklin Covey Company 0 2 1 0 2.33

American Public Education currently has a consensus target price of $24.00, indicating a potential upside of 3.23%. Franklin Covey Company has a consensus target price of $24.00, indicating a potential upside of 22.14%. Given Franklin Covey Company’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Franklin Covey Company is more favorable than American Public Education.

Volatility and Risk

American Public Education has a beta of 1.25, meaning that its stock price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Franklin Covey Company has a beta of 0.89, meaning that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares American Public Education and Franklin Covey Company’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Public Education 6.01% 9.07% 7.47%
Franklin Covey Company -0.32% 0.40% 0.20%

Summary

American Public Education beats Franklin Covey Company on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

American Public Education Company Profile

American Public Education, Inc. provides online and on-campus postsecondary education. The Company provides postsecondary education through its subsidiary institutions, American Public University System, Inc. (APUS) and Hondros College of Nursing (HCON). It operates through two segments: American Public Education Segment, which consists of the operational activities of APUS, other corporate activities, and minority investments, and Hondros College of Nursing Segment, which consists of the operational activities of HCON. APUS provides online postsecondary education to approximately 88,700 adult learners serving the needs of the military and public safety communities as of December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, HCON provided nursing education to approximately 1,300 students across five campuses in the State of Ohio, as well as online. It offers a Diploma in Practical Nursing and an Associate Degree in Nursing. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had approximately 90,000 students.

Franklin Covey Company Company Profile

Franklin Covey Co. is a global company specializing in performance improvement. The Company’s segments are Direct Offices, Strategic Markets, Education practice and International Licensees. The Direct Offices segment consists of its geographic sales offices that serve the United States and Canada, its international sales offices located in Japan, the United Kingdom and Australia, and its public programs group. The Strategic Markets segment includes its government services office, the Sales Performance practice, the Customer Loyalty practice, and a new Global 50 group, which is specifically focused on sales to large, multi-national organizations. The Education practice segment consists of its domestic and international Education practice operations, which are centered on sales to educational institutions, such as elementary schools, high schools, and colleges and universities. The International Licensees segment consists of its international licensees’ royalty revenues.

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