eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and valuation.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

84.8% of eBay shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.6% of Nielsen shares are held by institutional investors. 6.2% of eBay shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Nielsen shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


Nielsen pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.2%. eBay does not pay a dividend. Nielsen pays out 66.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Nielsen has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares eBay and Nielsen’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
eBay $9.57 billion 3.26 -$1.02 billion $1.63 19.36
Nielsen $6.57 billion 1.46 $429.00 million $2.11 12.78

Nielsen has lower revenue, but higher earnings than eBay. Nielsen is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than eBay, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for eBay and Nielsen, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
eBay 1 11 17 0 2.55
Nielsen 0 6 7 0 2.54

eBay presently has a consensus target price of $46.25, indicating a potential upside of 46.59%. Nielsen has a consensus target price of $30.77, indicating a potential upside of 14.13%. Given eBay’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe eBay is more favorable than Nielsen.


This table compares eBay and Nielsen’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
eBay -10.05% 20.57% 6.98%
Nielsen 5.57% 15.28% 4.01%

Volatility & Risk

eBay has a beta of 1.2, suggesting that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nielsen has a beta of 0.93, suggesting that its stock price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500.


eBay beats Nielsen on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About eBay

eBay Inc. operates commerce platforms that connect various buyers and sellers worldwide. Its platforms enable sellers to organize and offer their inventory for sale; and buyers to find and purchase it virtually. The company's Marketplace platforms include its online marketplace at ebay.com and the eBay mobile apps; and StubHub platforms comprise its online ticket platform at stubhub.com, and the StubHub mobile apps and online ticket platform that connect fans with their favorite sporting events, shows, and artists, as well as enables them to buy and sell tickets. Its Classifieds platforms include a collection of brands, such as mobile.de, Kijiji, Gumtree, Marktplaats, eBay Kleinanzeigen, and others, which offer online classifieds to enable people find whatever they are looking for in their local communities. The company's platforms enable users to find, buy, sell, and pay for items through various online, mobile, and offline channels that include retailers, distributors, liquidators, import and export companies, auctioneers, catalog and mail-order companies, classifieds, directories, search engines, commerce participants, shopping channels, and networks. eBay Inc. was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an information and measurement company. It operates through Buy and Watch segments. The company provides media and marketing information, analytics, and manufacturer and retailer expertise about what and where consumers buy, read, watch, and listen. The Buy segment provides retail transactional measurement data, consumer behavior information, and analytics primarily to businesses in the consumer packaged goods industry. This segment provides data on retail measurement services, such as market share and competitive sales volumes; insights into distribution, pricing, merchandising, and promotion; consumer panel measurement, which offers insight into shopper behavior and customer segmentation; and consumer intelligence and analytical services for decision making in product development and marketing cycles. The Watch segment provides viewership and listening data, and analytics primarily to the media and advertising industries for television, radio, print, online, and mobile viewing, and listening platforms. This segment offers television audience measurement services; audio audience measurement services; digital audience measurement services, such as digital media and market research, audience analytics, and social media measurement; mobile measurement services comprising measurement and consumer research for telecom and media companies; and total audience measurement services, as well as advertising solutions. The company was formerly known as Nielsen N.V. and changed its name to Nielsen Holdings plc in August 2015. Nielsen Holdings plc was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Oxford, the United Kingdom.

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