Container Store (The) (NYSE: TCS) and Barnes & Noble Education (NYSE:BNED) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

79.1% of Container Store (The) shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.0% of Barnes & Noble Education shares are owned by institutional investors. 65.7% of Container Store (The) shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of Barnes & Noble Education shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Container Store (The) has a beta of 1.6, indicating that its stock price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Barnes & Noble Education has a beta of 1, indicating that its stock price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Container Store (The) and Barnes & Noble Education, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Container Store (The) 1 3 1 0 2.00
Barnes & Noble Education 0 0 2 0 3.00

Container Store (The) currently has a consensus price target of $5.38, suggesting a potential upside of 29.83%. Barnes & Noble Education has a consensus price target of $12.00, suggesting a potential upside of 103.74%. Given Barnes & Noble Education’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Barnes & Noble Education is more favorable than Container Store (The).


This table compares Container Store (The) and Barnes & Noble Education’s 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%
Barnes & Noble Education -0.08% -0.12% -0.06%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Container Store (The) and Barnes & Noble Education’s 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 0.24 $70.50 million $0.19 21.79
Barnes & Noble Education $1.99 billion 0.14 $82.02 million ($0.04) -147.21

Barnes & Noble Education has higher revenue and earnings than Container Store (The). Barnes & Noble Education 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.


Container Store (The) beats Barnes & Noble Education on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Container Store (The)

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.

About Barnes & Noble Education

Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. is a contract operator of bookstores on college and university campuses across the United States and a provider of digital education services. The Company offers a support system, and a retail and digital learning experience for students. Through its subsidiary, Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, the Company operates approximately 750 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving over five million college students and their faculty. The Company offers a set of products and services to help students, faculty and administrators achieve their shared educational and social goals. Its suite of product offerings includes Textbook and Course Material Sales, Textbook and Course Material Rentals, General Merchandise, Trade, Digital Education and Brand Partnerships. The Company also offers other merchandise, such as laptops and other technology products, notebooks, backpacks, school and dormitory supplies and related items.

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