Earnings

Choosing Between Hot Stocks: TAL Education Group (TAL), Raymond James Financial, Inc. (RJF)

The shares of TAL Education Group have increased by more than 23.39% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 3.47% or $1.23 and now trades at $36.66. The shares of Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE:RJF), has jumped by 0.60% year to date as of 04/26/2018. The shares currently trade at $89.84 and have been able to report a change of 2.08% over the past one week.

The stock of TAL Education Group and Raymond James Financial, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Thuday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

Next 5Y EPS Growth: 62.30% versus 16.59%

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that TAL will grow it’s earning at a 62.30% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to RJF which will have a positive growth at a 16.59% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of TAL implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.

Profitability and Returns

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. The ROI of TAL is 8.40% while that of RJF is 2.40%. These figures suggest that TAL ventures generate a higher ROI than that of RJF.

Cash Flow



The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, TAL’s free cash flow per share is a positive 3.29, while that of RJF is positive 4.46.

Liquidity and Financial Risk

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The debt ratio of TAL is 0.26 compared to 3.87 for RJF. RJF can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than TAL.

Valuation

TAL currently trades at a forward P/E of 71.05, a P/B of 20.25, and a P/S of 11.88 while RJF trades at a forward P/E of 11.83, a P/B of 2.28, and a P/S of 1.91. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, RJF is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

Analyst Price Targets and Opinions




The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of TAL is currently at a -3.45% to its one-year price target of 37.97. Looking at its rival pricing, RJF is at a -17.58% relative to its price target of 109.00.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), TAL is given a 1.80 while 2.40 placed for RJF. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for RJF stocks.

Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for TAL is 3.10 while that of RJF is just 2.40. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for RJF stock.

Conclusion

The stock of TAL Education Group defeats that of Raymond James Financial, Inc. when the two are compared, with TAL taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. TAL happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, TAL is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for TAL is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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