TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) and Cross Country Healthcare (NASDAQ:CCRN) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares TrueBlue and Cross Country Healthcare’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
TrueBlue 2.27% 15.18% 7.29%
Cross Country Healthcare 1.06% 12.78% 6.02%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for TrueBlue and Cross Country Healthcare, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
TrueBlue 0 3 0 0 2.00
Cross Country Healthcare 0 1 4 0 2.80

TrueBlue currently has a consensus target price of $18.67, suggesting a potential downside of 12.77%. Cross Country Healthcare has a consensus target price of $16.30, suggesting a potential upside of 27.44%. Given Cross Country Healthcare’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Cross Country Healthcare is more favorable than TrueBlue.

Risk and Volatility

TrueBlue has a beta of 2.38, indicating that its stock price is 138% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cross Country Healthcare has a beta of 0.85, indicating that its stock price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares TrueBlue and Cross Country Healthcare’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
TrueBlue $2.61 billion 0.34 $138.93 million $1.41 15.18
Cross Country Healthcare $854.40 million 0.55 $38.83 million $0.03 426.33

TrueBlue has higher revenue and earnings than Cross Country Healthcare. TrueBlue is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cross Country Healthcare, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

89.8% of TrueBlue shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 91.3% of Cross Country Healthcare shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of TrueBlue shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.2% of Cross Country Healthcare shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

About TrueBlue

TrueBlue, Inc. is a provider of specialized workforce solutions. The Company is engaged in providing staffing, on-site workforce management and recruitment process outsourcing services. The Company operates through three segments: PeopleReady, PeopleManagement and PeopleScout. Its PeopleReady segment provides blue-collar contingent staffing through the PeopleReady service line. Its PeopleManagement segment provides primarily on-premise contingent staffing and on-premise management of those contingent staffing services through four segments: Staff Management a SMX (Staff Management), SIMOS Insourcing Solutions Corporation (SIMOS), Centerline and PlaneTechs. Its PeopleScout segment provides permanent employee recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and management of outsourced labor service providers through two segments: PeopleScout and PeopleScout MSP.

About Cross Country Healthcare

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. is engaged in providing healthcare recruiting, staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions. The Company operates in three segments: Nurse and Allied Staffing, Physician Staffing and Other Human Capital Management Services. The Nurse and Allied Staffing segment provides traditional staffing, including temporary and permanent placement of travel nurses and allied professionals, and branch-based local nurses and allied staffing. The Physician Staffing segment provides physicians in various specialties, certified registered nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants under its Medical Doctor Associates brand. The Other Human Capital Management Services is engaged in providing retained and contingent search services for physicians, healthcare executives, nurses, advanced practice and allied health professionals. It provides multi-specialty locum tenens services, as well as other human capital management services focused on healthcare.

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