Acorn International (NYSE:ATV) and Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE:SPH) are both small-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and risk.

Dividends

Suburban Propane Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 10.3%. Acorn International does not pay a dividend. Suburban Propane Partners pays out 193.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Risk & Volatility

Acorn International has a beta of -0.6, suggesting that its share price is 160% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Suburban Propane Partners has a beta of 0.53, suggesting that its share price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Acorn International and Suburban Propane Partners’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Acorn International $20.29 million 3.80 $12.38 million N/A N/A
Suburban Propane Partners $1.34 billion 1.07 $37.99 million $1.24 18.82

Suburban Propane Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Acorn International.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Acorn International and Suburban Propane Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Acorn International 0 0 0 0 N/A
Suburban Propane Partners 1 1 1 0 2.00

Suburban Propane Partners has a consensus target price of $27.00, suggesting a potential upside of 15.68%. Given Suburban Propane Partners’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Suburban Propane Partners is more favorable than Acorn International.

Profitability

This table compares Acorn International and Suburban Propane Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Acorn International N/A N/A N/A
Suburban Propane Partners 5.69% 13.02% 3.48%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

0.4% of Acorn International shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 29.7% of Suburban Propane Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Suburban Propane Partners shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Suburban Propane Partners beats Acorn International on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Acorn International Company Profile

Acorn International, Inc., an integrated multi-platform marketing company, develops, promotes, and sells products in the People's Republic of China. It operates through two segments, Integrated Direct Sales and Nationwide Distribution Network. The company, through its direct sales business platform, markets and sells products directly to consumers through its outbound marketing platform and Internet sales platform. It also provides its products through its nationwide distribution network. The company offers health and collectible, mobile phones, kitchen and household, fitness, cosmetics, auto, consumer electronics, and other products. Acorn International, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Shanghai, the People's Republic of China.

Suburban Propane Partners Company Profile

Suburban Propane Partners, L.P., through its subsidiaries, engages in the retail marketing and distribution of propane, fuel oil, and refined fuels. Its Propane segment is involved in the retail distribution of propane to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers, as well as in the wholesale distribution to industrial end users. This segment offers propane primarily for space heating, water heating, cooking, and clothes drying in the residential and commercial markets; for use as a motor fuel in internal combustion engines to power over-the-road vehicles, forklifts, and stationary engines, as well as to fire furnaces, as a cutting gas to the industrial customers, and in other process applications; and for tobacco curing, crop drying, poultry brooding, and weed control in the agricultural markets. The company's Fuel Oil and Refined Fuels segment engages in the retail distribution of fuel oil, diesel, kerosene, and gasoline to residential and commercial customers for use primarily as a source of heat in homes and buildings. Its Natural Gas and Electricity segment markets natural gas and electricity to residential and commercial customers in the deregulated energy markets in New York and Pennsylvania. The company also sells, installs, and services a range of home comfort equipment, including whole-house heating products, air cleaners, humidifiers, and space heaters. As of September 30, 2017, it served approximately 1.0 million residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers through 668 locations in 41 states primarily in the east and west coast regions of the United States, as well as portions of the midwest region of the United States and Alaska. Suburban Energy Services Group LLC serves as a general partner of Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. The company was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Whippany, New Jersey.

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