Set Sail With ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc. (CNET), The Meet Group, Inc. (MEET)

The shares of ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc. have increased by more than 172.48% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 8.79% or $0.24 and now trades at $2.97. The shares of The Meet Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MEET), has slumped by -3.19% year to date as of 02/14/2018. The shares currently trade at $2.73 and have been able to report a change of 5.81% over the past one week.

The stock of ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc. and The Meet Group, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Wednesday. 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: 10.00% versus 20.00%

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 CNET will grow it’s earning at a 10.00% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to MEET which will have a positive growth at a 20.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of MEET 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 CNET is -26.30% while that of MEET is 23.70%. These figures suggest that MEET ventures generate a higher ROI than that of CNET.

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, CNET’s free cash flow per share is a positive -0, while that of MEET is positive 0.01.

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 current ratio for CNET is 1.60 and that of MEET is 2.50. This implies that it is easier for CNET to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than MEET. The debt ratio of CNET is 0.09 compared to 0.00 for MEET. CNET can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than MEET.


CNET currently trades at a P/B of 1.83, and a P/S of 1.25 while MEET trades at a forward P/E of 7.52, a P/B of 0.78, and a P/S of 1.75. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, CNET 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 CNET is currently at a -89.28% to its one-year price target of 27.70. Looking at its rival pricing, MEET is at a -39.33% relative to its price target of 4.50. This figure implies that over the next one year, MEET is a better investment.

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 CNET is 0.27 while that of MEET is just 5.69. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for CNET stock.


The stock of ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc. defeats that of The Meet Group, Inc. when the two are compared, with CNET taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. CNET 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, CNET is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for CNET is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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