Critical Analysis: Barnes & Noble Education (BNED) & Gaia (GAIA)

Gaia (NASDAQ: GAIA) and Barnes & Noble Education (NYSE:BNED) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, risk and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

31.4% of Gaia shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.0% of Barnes & Noble Education shares are held by institutional investors. 42.8% of Gaia shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of Barnes & Noble Education shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Gaia and Barnes & Noble Education’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Gaia 392.56% -17.07% -15.46%
Barnes & Noble Education -0.08% -0.12% -0.06%

Volatility and Risk

Gaia has a beta of 1.2, indicating that its share price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Barnes & Noble Education has a beta of 1.13, indicating that its share price is 13% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Gaia and Barnes & Noble Education, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Gaia 0 0 1 0 3.00
Barnes & Noble Education 0 0 2 0 3.00

Gaia presently has a consensus target price of $17.00, suggesting a potential upside of 34.92%. Barnes & Noble Education has a consensus target price of $12.00, suggesting a potential upside of 91.08%. Given Barnes & Noble Education’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Barnes & Noble Education is more favorable than Gaia.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Gaia and Barnes & Noble Education’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Gaia $21.56 million 8.86 -$18.78 million $5.59 2.25
Barnes & Noble Education $1.99 billion 0.15 $82.02 million ($0.04) -156.96

Barnes & Noble Education has higher revenue and earnings than Gaia. Barnes & Noble Education is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Gaia, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Barnes & Noble Education beats Gaia on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Gaia

Gaia, Inc., formerly Gaiam, Inc., is engaged in providing global digital video subscription service. The Company is a global digital video streaming service and online community delivering curated media to its subscribers in over 120 countries. It provides its members access to approximately 7,000 video titles. Its video content is available to its subscribers through online digital streaming on virtually any Internet-connected device on a commercial-free basis. In addition to streaming, the Company’s subscribers can download its video content to their devices, so they can view its content without being actively connected to the Internet. Through the Gaia service, the Company’s subscribers have access to a library of inspiring films, personal growth-related content, documentaries, interviews, yoga classes and fitness. The Company has also created a fitness and yoga-focused version of its video service. The Company also operates a digital versatile disc (DVD) subscription club.

About Barnes & Noble Education

Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. is a contract operator of bookstores on college and university campuses across the United States and a provider of digital education services. The Company offers a support system, and a retail and digital learning experience for students. Through its subsidiary, Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, the Company operates approximately 750 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving over five million college students and their faculty. The Company offers a set of products and services to help students, faculty and administrators achieve their shared educational and social goals. Its suite of product offerings includes Textbook and Course Material Sales, Textbook and Course Material Rentals, General Merchandise, Trade, Digital Education and Brand Partnerships. The Company also offers other merchandise, such as laptops and other technology products, notebooks, backpacks, school and dormitory supplies and related items.

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