Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE:NGVC) and QKL Stores (OTCMKTS:QKLS) are both small-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, earnings, dividends and profitability.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

38.5% of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage shares are held by institutional investors. 60.0% of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 52.8% of QKL Stores shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has a beta of 1.16, indicating that its stock price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, QKL Stores has a beta of 1.61, indicating that its stock price is 61% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and QKL Stores, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage 1 2 2 0 2.20
QKL Stores 0 0 0 0 N/A

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage presently has a consensus price target of $20.33, indicating a potential upside of 22.34%. Given Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is more favorable than QKL Stores.

Profitability

This table compares Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and QKL Stores’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage 1.49% 5.85% 2.74%
QKL Stores N/A N/A N/A

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and QKL Stores’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage $849.04 million 0.44 $12.66 million $0.37 44.92
QKL Stores $270.06 million 0.00 -$31.22 million N/A N/A

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has higher revenue and earnings than QKL Stores.

Summary

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage beats QKL Stores on 10 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Company Profile

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, retails natural and organic groceries, and dietary supplements in the United States. The company’s stores offer natural and organic grocery products, such as organic produce; bulk food and private label products; dry, frozen, and canned groceries; meat and seafood products; dairy products, dairy substitutes, and eggs; prepared foods; bread and baked products; beverages; and beer, wine, and hard cider products. Its stores also provide private label dietary supplements; body care products comprising cosmetics, skin care, hair care, fragrance, and personal care products containing natural and organic ingredients; pet care and food products; books and handouts; and household and general merchandise, including cleaning supplies, paper products, and dish and laundry soaps, as well as other common household products, such as diapers. The company operates its retail stores under the Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage trademark. As of November 8, 2018, it operated 149 stores in 19 states. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado.

QKL Stores Company Profile

QKL Stores Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates supermarket chains in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia. Its supermarkets and hypermarkets sell grocery items, such as instant foods, canned foods, packaged rice and wheat powder, crackers and chips, rice and ground wheat, bottled water and beverages, and cigarettes, as well as non-food items, including cleaning products, cosmetics, and disposable razors. The company also sells fresh-food items comprising raw meat, cooked meats, seafood, noodles and pastas, milk, yogurt, eggs, and packaged dumplings, as well as bakery items comprising breads, buns, and other self-prepared foods. In addition, it offers other non-food items, such as clothing and shoes, books and stationery, bedding and home furnishings, office supplies, toys, sporting goods, and other items, as well as electronics and household use items, such as irons, electric shavers, hair dryers, and massage machines. Further, the company operates department stores that sell brand-name and luxury clothing and accessories, cosmetics, small electronics, jewelry, books, home furnishings, and bedding, as well as have a movie theater and a traditional beauty salon. As of December 31, 2015, the company operated 25 supermarkets, 16 hypermarkets, and 4 department stores. QKL Stores Inc. is headquartered in Daqing, the People’s Republic of China.

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