ATA (NASDAQ:ATAI) and China Distance Education (NYSE:DL) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, profitability, risk, earnings and institutional ownership.

Volatility & Risk

ATA has a beta of 1.57, indicating that its share price is 57% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, China Distance Education has a beta of 1.3, indicating that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for ATA and China Distance Education, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ATA 0 0 0 0 N/A
China Distance Education 0 0 0 0 N/A

Insider & Institutional Ownership

1.6% of ATA shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 20.9% of China Distance Education shares are held by institutional investors. 52.9% of ATA shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 41.6% of China Distance Education shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares ATA and China Distance Education’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ATA 276.50% -27.69% -19.45%
China Distance Education 7.75% 17.03% 5.10%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares ATA and China Distance Education’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ATA $190,000.00 135.07 $8.30 million N/A N/A
China Distance Education $166.67 million 1.48 $11.62 million N/A N/A

China Distance Education has higher revenue and earnings than ATA.

Summary

China Distance Education beats ATA on 5 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

ATA Company Profile

ATA Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides computer-based testing services in the People's Republic of China. The company offers services for the creation and delivery of computer-based tests utilizing its test delivery platform and proprietary testing technologies that are used for professional licensure and certification tests in various industries, including IT services, banking, teaching, and insurance; and administrative services, such as test registration, scheduling, fee collection, and certification fulfillment. Its e-testing platform integrates various aspects of the test delivery process for computer-based tests, from test form compilation to test scoring and results analysis. The company also offers mobile test administration platform MTS for test administration; and EzTest, an online self-service testing platform that provides testing management and delivery functions for the test delivery organizations and individuals, including item banking, test form composition, test delivery, online proctoring, and test result analysis. In addition, it provides EzInterview, an online interview management platform to support the talent assessment and hiring process; and HR Select, an employee assessment solution that enables corporate human resources departments to test, benchmark, and analyze job applicants; and online education services. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated 3,344 authorized test centers. It serves professional associations, governmental agencies, and IT vendors, as well as individual online education services consumers. ATA Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People's Republic of China.

China Distance Education Company Profile

China Distance Education Holdings Limited provides online and offline education services, and sells related products in the People's Republic of China. It operates in three segments: Professional Education Services, Business Start-Up Training Services, and The Sale of Learning Simulation Software. The company offers online professional education services in accounting, healthcare, and engineering and construction industries; and other professional education courses, such as online test-preparation courses for the legal professional qualification examination and self-taught learners pursuing higher education diplomas or degrees, test preparation courses for university students, accounting practical skills training courses, and online language courses. Its online courses feature pre-recorded audio-video lectures taught by experts; and other content, such as course outlines, exercise questions, mock exams, and frequently asked questions and answers. The company's online lectures are supplemented by its proprietary Learning Management System, which tracks individual study progress, records course notes, and collects incorrectly answered questions. As of September 30, 2018, it operated 32 Websites, including its primary Website cdeledu.com. The company also operates an Open Learning Platform, a proprietary education platform to share educational content and deliver live courses online; and sells proprietary books and reference materials. In addition, it provides business start-up training services to university students, job seekers, and individuals; offline accounting, tax, healthcare, and legal professional training services; courseware production and online platform development services; and mobile accounting, healthcare, engineering and construction, and legal courses through an app, as well as sells learning simulation software to the college market. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Beijing, the People's Republic of China.

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