Head-To-Head Contrast: Career Education (CECO) versus China Distance Education (DL)

Career Education (NASDAQ: CECO) 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 profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, risk, institutional ownership and valuation.

Risk and Volatility

Career Education has a beta of 2.77, indicating that its share price is 177% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, China Distance Education has a beta of 1.48, indicating that its share price is 48% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Career Education -3.36% 10.63% 7.14%
China Distance Education 3.94% 9.31% 2.78%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

76.9% of Career Education shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 21.6% of China Distance Education shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.0% of Career Education shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 41.6% of China Distance Education shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Career Education and China Distance Education, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Career Education 0 1 1 0 2.50
China Distance Education 0 0 0 0 N/A

Career Education presently has a consensus price target of $17.00, indicating a potential upside of 17.81%. Given Career Education’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Career Education is more favorable than China Distance Education.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Career Education and China Distance Education’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Career Education $596.43 million 1.68 -$31.89 million $0.31 46.55
China Distance Education $130.99 million 1.92 $14.93 million N/A N/A

China Distance Education has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Career Education.

Summary

Career Education beats China Distance Education on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Career Education Company Profile

Career Education Corporation operates colleges, institutions, and universities that provide education to student population in various career-oriented disciplines through online, campus based, and blended learning programs in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Colorado Technical University (CTU), American InterContinental University (AIU), and All Other Campuses. Its colleges and universities include AIU, CTU, Le Cordon Bleu institutions, Briarcliffe College, Harrington College of Design, and Sanford-Brown College. The company offers doctoral, master's, bachelor's, and associate degrees, as well as diploma and certificate programs. It also provides academic programs in the career-oriented disciplines of business studies, nursing, computer science, engineering, information systems and technologies, cybersecurity, and healthcare management, as well as information technologies, and education and criminal justice; and educational programs in culinary arts, as well as patisserie and baking. As of December 31, 2017, the company had a total student enrollment of approximately 34,800 students. Career Education Corporation was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois.

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 through three segments: Online 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 national judicial 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, 2017, it operated 25 Websites, including its primary Website cdeledu.com. In addition, the company 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. Further, it provides business start-up training courses to university students, job seekers, and individuals; offline accounting and healthcare professional training, courseware production, and online platform development services; and mobile accounting, engineering and construction, healthcare, and legal courses through an app on Android and Apple iOS tablets and smart phones, 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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