Autoweb (NASDAQ: AUTO) and XO Group (NYSE:XOXO) are both small-cap cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Autoweb and XO Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Autoweb 0 1 1 0 2.50
XO Group 0 2 3 0 2.60

Autoweb currently has a consensus target price of $12.00, suggesting a potential upside of 58.52%. XO Group has a consensus target price of $20.15, suggesting a potential downside of 2.09%. Given Autoweb’s higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Autoweb is more favorable than XO Group.

Volatility & Risk

Autoweb has a beta of 0.97, suggesting that its share price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, XO Group has a beta of 0.96, suggesting that its share price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Autoweb and XO Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Autoweb 0.93% 1.00% 0.78%
XO Group 4.55% 4.71% 3.89%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Autoweb and XO Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Autoweb N/A N/A N/A $0.37 20.46
XO Group $155.73 million 3.30 $14.12 million $0.27 76.23

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

58.6% of Autoweb shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 83.6% of XO Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 12.8% of Autoweb shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 6.8% of XO Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

XO Group beats Autoweb on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Autoweb

AutoWeb, Inc., formerly Autobytel Inc., is an automotive marketing services company that assists automotive retail dealers and automotive manufacturers market and sell new and used vehicles to consumers through the programs for online lead referrals, dealer marketing products and services, and online advertising programs and mobile products. The Company operates through providing automotive marketing services segment. Its consumer-facing automotive Websites, including Website Autobytel.com, provide consumers with information and tools to aid them with the automotive purchase decisions and ability to submit inquiries requesting dealers to contact the consumers regarding purchasing or leasing vehicles. Its AutoWeb pay-per-click advertising marketplace program uses technology to refer consumer traffic to dealers and manufacturer Websites.

About XO Group

XO Group Inc. is engaged in providing content and marketing solutions, targeted advertising programs, transactions and merchandise. The Company’s multi-platform brands guide couples through transformative life stages from getting married with The Knot, to moving in together with The Nest, to having a baby with The Bump, and helping bring celebrations to life with entertainment vendors from GigMasters.com Incorporated (GigMasters). The Knot is the wedding resource and marketplace that engages, matches and connects couples. The Bump is a pregnancy and parenting brand, providing personalized information, content and tools. The Nest is a brand focused on nesters setting up homes and navigating their lives together. GigMasters is an event marketplace for finding and booking the entertainment and vendors for birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries and corporate events, among others. The Company’s product offerings include Online Media Advertising, Transactions, and Publishing and Other.

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