Container Store (The) (NYSE: TCS) and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Container Store (The) and Staples’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Container Store (The) $825.55 million 0.25 $70.50 million $0.19 22.05
Staples $17.91 billion 0.38 $1.22 billion ($2.35) -4.36

Staples has higher revenue and earnings than Container Store (The). Staples is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Container Store (The), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

79.1% of Container Store (The) shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.6% of Staples shares are held by institutional investors. 65.7% of Container Store (The) shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of Staples shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Container Store (The) and Staples, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Container Store (The) 1 3 1 0 2.00
Staples 0 5 1 0 2.17

Container Store (The) presently has a consensus price target of $5.38, indicating a potential upside of 28.28%. Staples has a consensus price target of $8.85, indicating a potential downside of 13.66%. Given Container Store (The)’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Container Store (The) is more favorable than Staples.

Dividends

Staples pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.7%. Container Store (The) does not pay a dividend. Staples pays out -20.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk and Volatility

Container Store (The) has a beta of 1.62, indicating that its share price is 62% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Staples has a beta of 1.74, indicating that its share price is 74% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Container Store (The) and Staples’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Container Store (The) 1.13% 5.34% 1.49%
Staples 1.61% 7.49% 3.33%

Summary

Staples beats Container Store (The) on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Container Store (The) Company Profile

The Container Store Group, Inc. is a specialty retailer of storage and organization products. The Company’s segments include The Container Store (TCS), Elfa and Corporate/Other. The Company’s TCS segment consists of its retail stores, Website and call center, as well as its installation and organizational services business. The Company’s Elfa segment includes the manufacturing business that produces the elfa brand products that are sold domestically, exclusively through the TCS segment, as well as throughout Europe. Its Swedish subsidiary, Elfa International AB (Elfa), designs and manufactures component-based shelving and drawer systems and made-to-measure sliding doors. It merchandises over 11,000 products in each of its stores and online. Its stores are organized into various lifestyle departments, which include Bath, Box, Closets, Collections, Containers, Custom Closets, Food Storage, Gift Packaging, Hooks, Kitchen, Laundry, Office, Shelving, Storage, Trash and Travel.

Staples Company Profile

Staples, Inc. (Staples) is a provider of products and services that serve the needs of business customers and consumers. The Company offers a range of print and marketing and technology services. The Company’s segments include North American Delivery, North American Retail and Other. The North American Delivery segment consists of the United States and Canadian businesses, including Staples Business Advantage, staples.com, staples.ca, and quill.com, that sell and deliver products and services primarily to businesses. The North American Retail segment includes its retail stores in the United States and Canada. As of January 28, 2017, its North American Retail segment consisted of 1,255 stores in the United States and 304 stores in Canada. The Company has other businesses in Australia, South America and Asia. Staples Australia serves primarily contract and government customers in Australia and New Zealand. The Company also has operations in China, Argentina, Taiwan and Brazil.

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