XCel Brands (NASDAQ: XELB) and Stein Mart (NASDAQ:SMRT) are both small-cap apparel & accessories retailers – nec companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation and profitability.


Stein Mart pays an annual dividend of $0.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.9%. XCel Brands does not pay a dividend. Stein Mart pays out -12.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares XCel Brands and Stein Mart’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
XCel Brands $32.75 million 1.86 $2.73 million $0.14 23.57
Stein Mart $1.36 billion 0.04 $400,000.00 ($0.62) -1.87

XCel Brands has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Stein Mart. Stein Mart is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than XCel Brands, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

XCel Brands has a beta of 2.56, suggesting that its stock price is 156% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Stein Mart has a beta of 0.82, suggesting that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for XCel Brands and Stein Mart, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
XCel Brands 0 0 2 0 3.00
Stein Mart 0 0 0 0 N/A

XCel Brands currently has a consensus price target of $4.50, indicating a potential upside of 36.36%. Given XCel Brands’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe XCel Brands is more favorable than Stein Mart.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

20.9% of XCel Brands shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 20.0% of Stein Mart shares are owned by institutional investors. 59.9% of XCel Brands shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 34.7% of Stein Mart shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares XCel Brands and Stein Mart’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
XCel Brands 8.92% 2.34% 1.68%
Stein Mart -2.18% -44.60% -5.30%


XCel Brands beats Stein Mart on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

XCel Brands Company Profile

Xcel Brands, Inc. is a brand development and media company. The Company is engaged in the design, production, licensing, marketing, and direct to consumer sales of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and other consumer products, and the acquisition of consumer lifestyle brands. The Company’s brand portfolio consists of the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, H Halston, C Wonder and Highline Collective brands. The Company also manages and designs the Liz Claiborne New York brand (LCNY Brand). Isaac Mizrahi has over 150 different product categories, including sportswear, footwear, handbags, watches, eyewear, fragrance, tech accessories, intimates, bridal gowns and accessories, pet products, home and other merchandise. The Company’s Judith Ripka is a luxury jewelry brand. Wonder brand offers women’s clothing, footwear, jewelry and accessories; housewares, and home decor and gifts. The Liz Claiborne New York includes women’s apparel, footwear, outerwear and accessories.

Stein Mart Company Profile

Stein Mart, Inc. is a national retailer offering the fashion merchandise, service and presentation of a department or specialty store. The Company offers apparel for women and men, as well as accessories, shoes and home fashions. The Company’s target customers are women over 45 years old. The Company operates approximately 280 stores in over 30 states and an Internet store. Its stores are located in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Texas and the Southwest. It is concentrated in the Southeast and Texas where over 180 of its stores are located. The Company’s stores offer a range of services, such as merchandise locator service, a Preferred Customer program, co-branded and private label credit card programs, and electronic gift cards. The Company’s merchants purchase products from approximately 1,200 vendors. It leases all of its store locations, generally for approximately 10 years with options to extend the lease term for over two or five year periods.

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