Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) and CafePress (NASDAQ:PRSS) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Alibaba Group and CafePress, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alibaba Group 1 1 29 1 2.94
CafePress 0 1 0 0 2.00

Alibaba Group presently has a consensus price target of $182.94, suggesting a potential upside of 2.99%. CafePress has a consensus price target of $3.50, suggesting a potential upside of 89.19%. Given CafePress’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe CafePress is more favorable than Alibaba Group.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

38.1% of Alibaba Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 26.8% of CafePress shares are owned by institutional investors. 12.5% of Alibaba Group shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 17.3% of CafePress shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Alibaba Group has a beta of 2.52, suggesting that its share price is 152% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, CafePress has a beta of 0.63, suggesting that its share price is 37% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Alibaba Group and CafePress’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alibaba Group 30.87% 17.89% 11.29%
CafePress -7.63% -16.72% -13.02%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Alibaba Group and CafePress’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alibaba Group $22.99 billion 19.78 $6.35 billion $3.45 51.48
CafePress $102.21 million 0.31 -$26.47 million ($0.44) -4.20

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

Summary

Alibaba Group beats CafePress on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Alibaba Group Company Profile

Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the Company is engaged in online and mobile commerce through offering of products, services and technology that enable merchants, brands and other businesses to transform the way they market, sell and operate in the People’s Republic of China (China) and internationally. Its businesses consist of core commerce, cloud computing, mobile media and entertainment, and other innovation initiatives. Through investee affiliates, it also participates in the logistics and local services sectors. Retail commerce in China operated by the Company includes the China online commerce destination (Taobao Marketplace); the China third-party platform for brands and retailers (Tmall), and the sales and marketing platform for flash sales (Juhuasuan). Wholesale commerce in China operated by the Company includes the China domestic wholesale marketplace (1688.com) and the wholesale marketplace for global trade (Alibaba.com).

CafePress Company Profile

CafePress Inc. is an online retailer of personalized products offering various gifts and accessories, including t-shirts and apparel, mugs and drinkware, and home goods, such as custom shower curtains and bed coverings. The Company conducts its business on its primary United States-based domain, CafePress.com, and also operates CafePress branded Websites for the markets in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. It also sells CafePress branded products through other online retail partners. Its products are customized with designs contributed through various means, including crowd-sourced user generated content, stock art licenses and licensed content relationships with entertainment companies and brands. Its facility in Louisville, Kentucky has technology and manufacturing processes that enables it to provide customized products that are individually built to order. The Company’s processes enable it to produce a range of merchandise.

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