51job (NASDAQ: JOBS) and Robert Half International (NYSE:RHI) are both mid-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, profitabiliy, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

42.1% of 51job shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.4% of Robert Half International shares are held by institutional investors. 3.4% of Robert Half International shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for 51job and Robert Half International, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
51job 0 0 0 0 N/A
Robert Half International 2 5 2 0 2.00

Robert Half International has a consensus price target of $46.14, indicating a potential downside of 4.70%. Given Robert Half International’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Robert Half International is more favorable than 51job.

Profitability

This table compares 51job and Robert Half International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
51job 31.03% 14.53% 9.37%
Robert Half International 6.47% 31.26% 18.78%

Dividends

Robert Half International pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. 51job does not pay a dividend. Robert Half International pays out 36.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. 51job has increased its dividend for 13 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

51job has a beta of 1.31, indicating that its share price is 31% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Robert Half International has a beta of 1.24, indicating that its share price is 24% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares 51job and Robert Half International’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
51job $357.44 million 8.23 $105.13 million $1.62 29.70
Robert Half International $5.24 billion 1.16 $609.99 million $2.65 18.27

Robert Half International has higher revenue and earnings than 51job. Robert Half International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than 51job, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Robert Half International beats 51job on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About 51job

51job, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is a provider of integrated human resource services in China. The Company focuses on online recruitment advertising. The Company operates over three Websites, including www.51job.com, www.yingjiesheng.com and www.51jingying.com, which are utilized by a base of corporate employers, reach an audience of job seekers and aggregate job information from over 100 cities across China. The Company provides a range of human resource services in the categories, such as recruitment advertising services, including online recruitment services provided by its Websites, and other human resource related services, including business process outsourcing, training, campus recruitment, professional assessment tools, salary and other human resource related surveys, human resource conferences and executive search services.

About Robert Half International

Robert Half International Inc. provides specialized staffing and risk consulting services. The Company provides these services through its divisions, including Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, OfficeTeam, Robert Half Technology, Robert Half Management Resources, Robert Half Legal, The Creative Group and Protiviti. The Company operates through three segments: temporary and consultant staffing, permanent placement staffing, and risk consulting and internal audit services. The temporary and consultant staffing segment provides specialized staffing in the accounting and finance, administrative and office, information technology (IT), legal, advertising, marketing and Web design fields. The permanent placement staffing segment provides full-time personnel in the accounting, finance, administrative and office, and IT fields. The risk consulting and internal audit services segment provides business and technology risk consulting, and internal audit services.

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