ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) and 51job (NASDAQ:JOBS) are both mid-cap business services companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, risk and valuation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

94.0% of ManpowerGroup shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 41.8% of 51job shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.9% of ManpowerGroup shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for ManpowerGroup and 51job, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ManpowerGroup 0 4 3 0 2.43
51job 0 0 1 0 3.00

ManpowerGroup currently has a consensus target price of $99.00, indicating a potential downside of 8.81%. 51job has a consensus target price of $60.00, indicating a potential upside of 6.38%. Given 51job’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe 51job is more favorable than ManpowerGroup.

Dividends

ManpowerGroup pays an annual dividend of $1.86 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. 51job does not pay a dividend. ManpowerGroup pays out 28.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. ManpowerGroup has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ManpowerGroup 2.24% 17.90% 5.78%
51job 21.23% 14.29% 9.19%

Risk and Volatility

ManpowerGroup has a beta of 1.39, suggesting that its stock price is 39% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, 51job has a beta of 1.33, suggesting that its stock price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ManpowerGroup $19.98 billion 0.36 $853.20 million $6.55 16.57
51job $378.48 million 4.48 $115.46 million $1.35 41.78

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

Summary

ManpowerGroup beats 51job on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About ManpowerGroup

ManpowerGroup Inc. is a provider of workforce solutions and services. The Company’s segments include Americas, Southern Europe, Northern Europe, Asia Pacific Middle East (APME), Right Management and Corporate. The Company’s Americas segment includes operations in the United States and Other Americas. Its Southern Europe segment includes operations in France, Italy and Other Southern Europe. Its Northern Europe segment includes operations in the United Kingdom, the Nordics, Germany and the Netherlands. The Company’s APME operations provide a range of workforce solutions and services offered through Manpower, Experis and ManpowerGroup Solutions, including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment, assessment and selection, training and outsourcing. The Company’s Right Management segment provides talent and career management workforce solutions. The Company provides services under its Experis brand, particularly in the areas of information technology (IT), engineering and finance.

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.

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