Francesca’s Holdings Corporation (FRAN) and Express (EXPR) Head to Head Review

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: FRAN) and Express (NYSE:EXPR) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

99.8% of Express shares are held by institutional investors. 1.2% of Francesca’s Holdings Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.6% of Express shares are held by 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.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Francesca’s Holdings Corporation and Express’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Francesca’s Holdings Corporation $487.19 million 0.53 $42.00 million $0.97 7.23
Express $2.19 billion 0.25 $57.41 million $0.23 30.78

Express has higher revenue and earnings than Francesca’s Holdings Corporation. Francesca’s Holdings Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Express, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Francesca’s Holdings Corporation and Express, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Francesca’s Holdings Corporation 0 7 2 0 2.22
Express 0 9 0 0 2.00

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $13.86, suggesting a potential upside of 97.68%. Express has a consensus price target of $8.50, suggesting a potential upside of 20.06%. Given Francesca’s Holdings Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Francesca’s Holdings Corporation is more favorable than Express.

Profitability

This table compares Francesca’s Holdings Corporation and Express’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Francesca’s Holdings Corporation 7.28% 31.88% 18.83%
Express 0.85% 4.25% 2.24%

Volatility and Risk

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation has a beta of 0.18, suggesting that its stock price is 82% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Express has a beta of 1.33, suggesting that its stock price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation beats Express on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Francesca’s Holdings Corporation

Francesca’s Holdings Corporation is a holding company. The Company is a specialty retailer, which operates a chain of boutiques across the United States. The Company offers a mix of apparel, jewelry, accessories and gifts. As of January 28, 2017, the Company operated 671 boutiques in 48 states and the District of Columbia, and also served its customers through www.francescas.com, its e-commerce Website. The Company offers apparel, such as dresses, fashion tops, sweaters, cardigans and wraps, bottoms, outerwear and jackets, tees and tanks, and intimates. The Company provides jewelry, such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. The Company offers accessories, such as handbags, clutches, wallets, shoes, belts, hats, scarves, sunglasses, watches and hair accessories. The Company provides gifts, such as fragrance, candles, bath and body, home accessories, books, wall art, nail polish and miscellaneous items. The Company operates its boutiques under the francesca’s brand.

About Express

Express, Inc. is a specialty apparel and accessories retailer offering both women’s and men’s merchandise. The Company targets women and men between 20 and 30 years old. It offers an assortment of fashionable apparel and accessories to address fashion needs across multiple aspects of lifestyles, including work, casual, jeanswear and going-out occasions. It is engaged in the operation of its brick-and-mortar retail and outlet stores, e-commerce operations and franchise operations. It sells its products through its e-commerce Website, www.express.com and its mobile application, and has franchise agreements with franchisees that operate Express locations in Latin America. It operated 656 stores across the United States, in Canada and in Puerto Rico, including 104 factory outlet stores, as of January 28, 2017. Its products are created by its in-house design team. Its portfolio of apparel products includes brands, such as Portofino shirt, Editor pant and 1MX shirt.

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