Pearson, PLC (NYSE: PSO) and Gannett Co. (NYSE:GCI) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitabiliy, risk and dividends.

Risk and Volatility

Pearson, PLC has a beta of 0.26, meaning that its share price is 74% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Gannett Co. has a beta of 0.58, meaning that its share price is 42% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Pearson, PLC and Gannett Co.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pearson, PLC N/A N/A N/A
Gannett Co. -0.07% 11.30% 3.70%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

2.0% of Pearson, PLC shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.1% of Gannett Co. shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Gannett Co. shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Pearson, PLC and Gannett Co.’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Pearson, PLC $5.90 billion 1.13 $744.15 million N/A N/A
Gannett Co. $3.16 billion 0.32 $317.33 million ($0.02) -450.00

Pearson, PLC has higher revenue and earnings than Gannett Co..

Dividends

Pearson, PLC pays an annual dividend of $0.67 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.3%. Gannett Co. pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.1%. Gannett Co. pays out -3,200.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Pearson, PLC and Gannett Co., as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pearson, PLC 5 4 2 0 1.73
Gannett Co. 0 1 1 0 2.50

Gannett Co. has a consensus target price of $16.00, indicating a potential upside of 77.78%. Given Gannett Co.’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Gannett Co. is more favorable than Pearson, PLC.

Summary

Gannett Co. beats Pearson, PLC on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Pearson, PLC

Pearson plc (Pearson) is a learning company. The Company delivers learning through providing a range of educational products and services to institutions, governments, professional bodies and individual learners. The Company operates through three segments, which include North America, Core and Growth. The Company’s North America segment includes Courseware, Assessments and Services businesses in the United States and Canada. The Company’s Core segment includes Courseware, Assessments and Services businesses in more mature markets including the United Kingdom, Australia and Italy. The Company’s Growth segment includes Courseware, Assessments and Services businesses in emerging markets including Brazil, China, India and South Africa. The Company provides content, assessment and digital services to schools, colleges and universities, as well as professional and vocational education to learners to help increase their skills and employability prospects.

About Gannett Co.

Gannett Co., Inc. is a media company. The Company operates as a newspaper publisher in the United States. As of December 25, 2016, it owned ReachLocal, Inc. (ReachLocal), a digital marketing solutions company; the USA TODAY NETWORK (made up of USA TODAY including digital sites and affiliates (USAT) and 109 local media organizations in 34 states in the United States and Guam), and Newsquest Media Group Ltd. (Newsquest), the Company’s subsidiary operating in the United Kingdom. The Company’s segments include Publishing, ReachLocal, and a Corporate and Other category. The publishing segment comprises the USA TODAY NETWORK and Newsquest. Its publishing operations also include commercial printing and distribution, marketing and data services. It also reaches small and medium sized businesses with digital marketing solutions principally through ReachLocal. ReachLocal is focused on local businesses and on providing a total digital marketing solution.

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