Express (NYSE: EXPR) and Francesca’s Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:FRAN) are both small-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Express and Francesca’s Holdings Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Express 0.85% 4.25% 2.24%
Francesca’s Holdings Corporation 7.28% 31.88% 18.83%

Risk & Volatility

Express has a beta of 1.47, indicating that its share price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Francesca’s Holdings Corporation has a beta of 0.22, indicating that its share price is 78% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Express and Francesca’s Holdings Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Express 0 8 0 0 2.00
Francesca’s Holdings Corporation 0 6 2 0 2.25

Express presently has a consensus target price of $8.50, indicating a potential upside of 23.19%. Francesca’s Holdings Corporation has a consensus target price of $13.86, indicating a potential upside of 98.81%. Given Francesca’s Holdings Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Francesca’s Holdings Corporation is more favorable than Express.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

99.4% of Express shares are held by institutional investors. 2.6% of Express shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Francesca’s Holdings Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Express and Francesca’s Holdings Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Express $2.13 billion 0.26 $148.37 million $0.23 30.00
Francesca’s Holdings Corporation $493.21 million 0.52 $78.79 million $0.97 7.19

Express has higher revenue and earnings than Francesca’s Holdings Corporation. Francesca’s Holdings Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Express, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation beats Express on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Express Company Profile

Express, Inc. is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer offering both women’s and men’s merchandise. The Company targets women and men between 20 and 30 years old. It offers an assortment of fashionable apparel and accessories to address fashion needs across multiple aspects of lifestyles, including work, casual, jeanswear and going-out occasions. It is engaged in the operation of its brick-and-mortar retail and outlet stores, e-commerce operations and franchise operations. It sells its products through its e-commerce Website, www.express.com and its mobile application, and has franchise agreements with franchisees that operate Express locations in Latin America. It operated 656 stores across the United States, in Canada and in Puerto Rico, including 104 factory outlet stores, as of January 28, 2017. Its products are created by its in-house design team. Its portfolio of apparel products includes brands, such as Portofino shirt, Editor pant and 1MX shirt.

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation Company Profile

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation is a holding company. The Company is a specialty retailer, which operates a chain of boutiques across the United States. The Company offers a mix of apparel, jewelry, accessories and gifts. As of January 28, 2017, the Company operated 671 boutiques in 48 states and the District of Columbia, and also served its customers through www.francescas.com, its e-commerce Website. The Company offers apparel, such as dresses, fashion tops, sweaters, cardigans and wraps, bottoms, outerwear and jackets, tees and tanks, and intimates. The Company provides jewelry, such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. The Company offers accessories, such as handbags, clutches, wallets, shoes, belts, hats, scarves, sunglasses, watches and hair accessories. The Company provides gifts, such as fragrance, candles, bath and body, home accessories, books, wall art, nail polish and miscellaneous items. The Company operates its boutiques under the francesca’s brand.

Receive News & Ratings for Express Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Express Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.