Carter's (NYSE: CRI) and XCel Brands (NASDAQ:XELB) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

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This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Carter's and XCel Brands, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Carter's 0 4 9 0 2.69
XCel Brands 0 0 3 0 3.00

Carter's presently has a consensus price target of $119.58, suggesting a potential upside of 6.98%. XCel Brands has a consensus price target of $4.67, suggesting a potential upside of 39.30%. Given XCel Brands’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe XCel Brands is more favorable than Carter's.


Carter's pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. XCel Brands does not pay a dividend. Carter's pays out 28.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. XCel Brands has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Carter's and XCel Brands’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Carter's $3.40 billion 1.55 $302.76 million $6.28 17.80
XCel Brands $32.75 million 1.89 $2.73 million $0.14 23.93

Carter's has higher revenue and earnings than XCel Brands. Carter's is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than XCel Brands, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares Carter's and XCel Brands’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Carter's 8.90% 35.46% 13.81%
XCel Brands 8.92% 2.34% 1.68%

Volatility and Risk

Carter's has a beta of 0.35, indicating that its stock price is 65% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, XCel Brands has a beta of 0.8, indicating that its stock price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

97.5% of Carter's shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 21.6% of XCel Brands shares are held by institutional investors. 3.1% of Carter's shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 59.9% of XCel Brands shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


XCel Brands beats Carter's on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Carter's Company Profile

Carter’s, Inc. (Carter’s) is a marketer of apparel for babies and young children in the United States and Canada. The Company owns two brand names in the children’s apparel industry, Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh (OshKosh). The Company operates through five segments: Carter’s Retail, Carter’s Wholesale, OshKosh Retail, OshKosh Wholesale and International. Its International segment includes company-operated retail stores and online Websites, wholesale operations, and royalty income from its international licensees. It markets products for consumers, and offer various product categories, including baby, sleepwear, play clothes, and related accessories. Its multi-channel international business model – retail stores, online and wholesale – enables it to reach a range of consumers around the world. As of December 31, 2016, its channels included approximately 18,000 wholesale locations, 792 stores in the United States, 164 stores in Canada, and its Canadian and the United States Websites.

XCel Brands Company Profile

Xcel Brands, Inc. is a brand development and media company. The Company is engaged in the design, production, licensing, marketing, and direct to consumer sales of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and other consumer products, and the acquisition of consumer lifestyle brands. The Company’s brand portfolio consists of the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, H Halston, C Wonder and Highline Collective brands. The Company also manages and designs the Liz Claiborne New York brand (LCNY Brand). Isaac Mizrahi has over 150 different product categories, including sportswear, footwear, handbags, watches, eyewear, fragrance, tech accessories, intimates, bridal gowns and accessories, pet products, home and other merchandise. The Company’s Judith Ripka is a luxury jewelry brand. Wonder brand offers women’s clothing, footwear, jewelry and accessories; housewares, and home decor and gifts. The Liz Claiborne New York includes women’s apparel, footwear, outerwear and accessories.

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