Barnes & Noble Education (NYSE: BNED) and Container Store (The) (NYSE:TCS) are both small-cap cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings and profitability.


This table compares Barnes & Noble Education and Container Store (The)’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Barnes & Noble Education -9.78% -20.01% -9.56%
Container Store (The) 1.13% 5.34% 1.49%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Barnes & Noble Education and Container Store (The)’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Barnes & Noble Education $1.87 billion 0.13 $78.29 million ($0.04) -129.97
Container Store (The) $825.55 million 0.24 $70.50 million $0.19 21.63

Barnes & Noble Education has higher revenue and earnings than Container Store (The). Barnes & Noble Education is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Container Store (The), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Barnes & Noble Education has a beta of 1, suggesting that its share price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.Comparatively, Container Store (The) has a beta of 1.6, suggesting that its share price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

69.1% of Barnes & Noble Education shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.1% of Container Store (The) shares are held by institutional investors. 3.5% of Barnes & Noble Education shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 65.7% of Container Store (The) shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Barnes & Noble Education and Container Store (The), as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Barnes & Noble Education 0 0 2 0 3.00
Container Store (The) 1 3 1 0 2.00

Barnes & Noble Education currently has a consensus price target of $12.00, suggesting a potential upside of 130.77%. Container Store (The) has a consensus price target of $5.38, suggesting a potential upside of 30.78%. Given Barnes & Noble Education’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Barnes & Noble Education is more favorable than Container Store (The).


Container Store (The) beats Barnes & Noble Education on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Barnes & Noble Education Company Profile

Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. is a contract operator of bookstores on college and university campuses across the United States and a provider of digital education services. The Company offers a support system, and a retail and digital learning experience for students. Through its subsidiary, Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, the Company operates approximately 750 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving over five million college students and their faculty. The Company offers a set of products and services to help students, faculty and administrators achieve their shared educational and social goals. Its suite of product offerings includes Textbook and Course Material Sales, Textbook and Course Material Rentals, General Merchandise, Trade, Digital Education and Brand Partnerships. The Company also offers other merchandise, such as laptops and other technology products, notebooks, backpacks, school and dormitory supplies and related items.

Container Store (The) Company Profile

The Container Store Group, Inc. is a specialty retailer of storage and organization products. The Company’s segments include The Container Store (TCS), Elfa and Corporate/Other. The Company’s TCS segment consists of its retail stores, Website and call center, as well as its installation and organizational services business. The Company’s Elfa segment includes the manufacturing business that produces the elfa brand products that are sold domestically, exclusively through the TCS segment, as well as throughout Europe. Its Swedish subsidiary, Elfa International AB (Elfa), designs and manufactures component-based shelving and drawer systems and made-to-measure sliding doors. It merchandises over 11,000 products in each of its stores and online. Its stores are organized into various lifestyle departments, which include Bath, Box, Closets, Collections, Containers, Custom Closets, Food Storage, Gift Packaging, Hooks, Kitchen, Laundry, Office, Shelving, Storage, Trash and Travel.

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