Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) and Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) are both large-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitabiliy, dividends, risk and analyst recommendations.

Volatility & Risk

Campbell Soup has a beta of 0.34, suggesting that its share price is 66% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hershey Company (The) has a beta of 0.38, suggesting that its share price is 62% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Campbell Soup and Hershey Company (The)’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Campbell Soup $7.91 billion 2.02 $1.61 billion $1.59 33.15
Hershey Company (The) $7.52 billion 2.99 $1.72 billion $3.14 33.63

Hershey Company (The) has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Campbell Soup. Campbell Soup is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Hershey Company (The), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

44.2% of Campbell Soup shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 51.3% of Hershey Company (The) shares are held by institutional investors. 37.3% of Campbell Soup shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of Hershey Company (The) shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Campbell Soup and Hershey Company (The)’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Campbell Soup 6.17% 59.83% 11.81%
Hershey Company (The) 8.95% 119.66% 18.88%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Campbell Soup and Hershey Company (The), as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Campbell Soup 4 9 0 0 1.69
Hershey Company (The) 2 9 3 0 2.07

Campbell Soup presently has a consensus price target of $56.76, indicating a potential upside of 7.69%. Hershey Company (The) has a consensus price target of $108.86, indicating a potential upside of 3.09%. Given Campbell Soup’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Campbell Soup is more favorable than Hershey Company (The).

Dividends

Campbell Soup pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Hershey Company (The) pays an annual dividend of $2.47 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Campbell Soup pays out 88.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Hershey Company (The) pays out 78.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Hershey Company (The) has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Summary

Hershey Company (The) beats Campbell Soup on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Campbell Soup

Campbell Soup Company is a food company, which manufactures and markets food products. The Company’s segments include Americas Simple Meals and Beverages; Global Biscuits and Snacks, and Campbell Fresh. The Americas Simple Meals and Beverages segment includes the retail and food service channel businesses. The segment includes the products, such as Campbell’s condensed and ready-to-serve soups; Swanson broth and stocks; Prego pasta sauces; Pace Mexican sauces; Campbell’s gravies, pasta, beans and dinner sauces; Plum food and snacks; V8 juices and beverages, and Campbell’s tomato juice. The Global Biscuits and Snacks segment includes Pepperidge Farm cookies, crackers, bakery and frozen products; Arnott’s biscuits, and Kelsen cookies. The Campbell Fresh segment includes Bolthouse Farms fresh carrots, carrot ingredients, refrigerated beverages and refrigerated salad dressings; Garden Fresh Gourmet salsa, hummus, dips and tortilla chips, and the United States refrigerated soup business.

About Hershey Company (The)

The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate in North America. The Company’s principal product offerings include chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites and mixes. Its segments include North America, and International and Other. The North America segment includes its chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery business, as well as its grocery and snacks business. This includes developing and growing its business in chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery, pantry, food service and other snacking product lines. The Company distributes and sells confectionery products in export markets of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and other regions. As of December 31, 2016, the Company marketed, sold and distributed its products under more than 80 brand names in approximately 70 countries across the world.

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