Knoll (NYSE: KNL) and Acco Brands Corporation (NYSE:ACCO) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, earnings, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Dividends

Knoll pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Acco Brands Corporation does not pay a dividend. Knoll pays out 36.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Acco Brands Corporation has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

98.4% of Knoll shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 91.8% of Acco Brands Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.9% of Knoll shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.5% of Acco Brands Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Knoll and Acco Brands Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Knoll 0 1 1 0 2.50
Acco Brands Corporation 0 0 1 0 3.00

Knoll presently has a consensus target price of $27.00, suggesting a potential upside of 37.83%. Acco Brands Corporation has a consensus target price of $18.00, suggesting a potential upside of 50.00%. Given Acco Brands Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Acco Brands Corporation is more favorable than Knoll.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Knoll and Acco Brands Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Knoll $1.14 billion 0.84 $150.35 million $1.63 12.02
Acco Brands Corporation $1.64 billion 0.80 $244.60 million $0.87 13.79

Acco Brands Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Knoll. Knoll is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Acco Brands Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Knoll has a beta of 1, indicating that its share price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.Comparatively, Acco Brands Corporation has a beta of 1.3, indicating that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Knoll and Acco Brands Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Knoll 7.02% 26.34% 9.35%
Acco Brands Corporation 5.75% 13.98% 4.36%

Summary

Acco Brands Corporation beats Knoll on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Knoll Company Profile

Knoll, Inc. is a manufacturer of commercial and residential furniture, accessories and coverings. The Company operates through three segments: Office, Studio and Coverings. The Office segment includes a range of workplace products that address workplace planning paradigms. These products include systems furniture, seating, storage, tables, desks and KnollExtra accessories, as well as the international sales of its North American Office products. The Studio segment includes KnollStudio products, DatesWeiser, HOLLY HUNT and Knoll Europe. The Coverings segment includes KnollTextiles, Spinneybeck (including Filzfelt), and Edelman Leather. These businesses provide a range of customers with fabrics, felt, leather and related architectural products. KnollStudio products include iconic seating, lounge furniture, side, cafe and dining chairs, as well as conference, training, dining and occasional tables.

Acco Brands Corporation Company Profile

ACCO Brands Corporation is engaged in designing, marketing and manufacturing of branded business, academic and selected consumer products. The Company operates through three segments: ACCO Brands North America, ACCO Brands International and Computer Products Group. The Company’s brands include Artline, AT-A-GLANCE, Derwent, Esselte, Five Star, GBC, Hilroy, Kensington, Leitz, Marbig, Mead, NOBO, Quartet, Rapid, Rexel, Swingline, Tilibra and Wilson Jones. The Company’s ACCO Brands North America and ACCO Brands International design, market, source, manufacture and sell traditional office products, academic supplies and calendar products. ACCO Brands North America consists of the United States and Canada, and ACCO Brands International consists of the rest of the world, primarily Northern Europe, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. Its Computer Products Group designs, sources, distributes, markets and sells accessories for laptop and desktop computers and tablets.

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