Financial Review: Nautilus (NLS) & Escalade (ESCA)

Escalade (NASDAQ: ESCA) and Nautilus (NYSE:NLS) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings and dividends.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

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26.7% of Escalade shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.0% of Nautilus shares are owned by institutional investors. 20.1% of Escalade shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.7% of Nautilus shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Escalade has a beta of 0.03, meaning that its stock price is 97% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nautilus has a beta of 1.36, meaning that its stock price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Escalade and Nautilus, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Escalade 0 0 1 0 3.00
Nautilus 0 3 3 0 2.50

Escalade presently has a consensus target price of $16.00, indicating a potential upside of 12.28%. Nautilus has a consensus target price of $16.96, indicating a potential upside of 24.24%. Given Nautilus’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Nautilus is more favorable than Escalade.


This table compares Escalade and Nautilus’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Escalade 8.09% 10.43% 7.25%
Nautilus 6.47% 15.93% 8.67%


Escalade pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Nautilus does not pay a dividend. Escalade pays out 64.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Escalade and Nautilus’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Escalade $177.33 million 1.16 $14.06 million $0.77 18.51
Nautilus $406.18 million 1.03 $26.26 million $0.88 15.51

Nautilus has higher revenue and earnings than Escalade. Nautilus is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Escalade, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Nautilus beats Escalade on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Escalade

Escalade, Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells sporting goods in North America, Europe, and internationally. The company manufactures, imports, and distributes various sporting goods brands in basketball goals, archery, indoor and outdoor game recreation, and fitness products. It offers archery products under the Bear Archery, Trophy Ridge, Whisker Biscuit, Cajun Bowfishing, Karnage, Fletcher, and Rocket brand names; table tennis products under the STIGA and Ping-Pong brands; basketball goals under the Goalrilla, Goaliath, Silverback, Hoopstar, and Goalsetter brand names; and trampoline under the Vuly brand. The company also provides play systems under the Woodplay and Childlife brands; fitness products under the USWeight, The STEP, Lifeline, Kettleworx, Natural Fitness, and PER4M brand names; hockey and soccer game tables under the Atomic, American Legend, Redline, and Triumph brands; and billiard accessories under the Mizerak, Minnesota Fats, Lucasi, PureX, Rage, and Players brand names. In addition, it offers darting products under the Unicorn, Accudart, Arachnid, Nodor, and Winmau brands; and outdoor game products under the Zume Games, Pickleball Now, Onix, Viva Sol, and Triumph Sports brand names. The company provides its products through sporting goods retailers, specialty dealers, online retailers, traditional department stores, and mass merchants. Escalade, Incorporated was founded in 1922 and is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana.

About Nautilus

Nautilus, Inc., a consumer fitness products company, designs, develops, sources, and markets cardio and strength fitness products, and related accessories for consumer use in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Direct and Retail. It offers specialized cardio products, treadmills, elliptical machine, bike products, strength products, home gyms, dumbbells, kettlebell weights, and weight benches primarily under the Nautilus, Bowflex, Octane Fitness, Schwinn, and Universal brands. In addition, it engages in licensing its brands and intellectual properties. The company offers its products directly to consumers through television advertising, catalogs, and the Internet; and through a network of retail companies consisting of sporting goods stores, Internet retailers, and large-format and warehouse stores, as well as specialty retailers and independent bike dealers. Nautilus, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Washington.

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