Unilever PLC (NYSE: UL) and Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) (NYSE:EL) are both large-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, valuation, profitabiliy and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Unilever PLC and Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The), as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Unilever PLC 2 3 5 0 2.30
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) 1 4 13 0 2.67

Unilever PLC presently has a consensus target price of $26.00, suggesting a potential downside of 54.29%. Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) has a consensus target price of $98.25, suggesting a potential downside of 0.33%. Given Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The)’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) is more favorable than Unilever PLC.

Profitability

This table compares Unilever PLC and Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The)’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Unilever PLC N/A N/A N/A
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) 9.62% 33.40% 12.32%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

8.4% of Unilever PLC shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 54.7% of Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Unilever PLC shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 17.0% of Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Unilever PLC and Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The)’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Unilever PLC $62.97 billion 2.54 $11.26 billion N/A N/A
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) $11.58 billion 3.13 $2.35 billion $2.99 32.97

Unilever PLC has higher revenue and earnings than Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The).

Risk & Volatility

Unilever PLC has a beta of 0.88, meaning that its stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) has a beta of 0.72, meaning that its stock price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Unilever PLC pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) pays an annual dividend of $1.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) pays out 45.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Unilever PLC has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Unilever PLC is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) beats Unilever PLC on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Unilever PLC

Unilever PLC is a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. The Company’s segments include Personal Care, which primarily includes sales of skin care and hair care products, deodorants and oral care products; Foods, which primarily includes sales of soups, bouillons, sauces, snacks, mayonnaise, salad dressings, margarines and spreads; Home Care, which primarily includes sales of home care products, such as powders, liquids and capsules, soap bars and a range of cleaning products, and Refreshment, which primarily includes sales of ice cream and tea-based beverages. The Company’s geographical segments include Asia/AMET/RUB, The Americas and Europe. Its brands include Axe, Dirt is Good (Omo), Dove, Family Goodness (Rama), Heartbrand (Wall’s), Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona, Sunsilk and Surf. The Company operates in more than 100 countries, selling its products in more than 190 countries. The Company operates approximately 310 factories in over 70 countries.

About Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The)

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. manufactures and markets skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company offers products, including skin care, makeup, fragrance, hair care and other. The Company operates in beauty products segment. The Company’s products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under brand names, including Estee Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, MAC, Kiton, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin, Tom Ford, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Tory Burch, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, GLAMGLOW, By Kilian, BECCA and Too Faced. Its skin care products include moisturizers, serums, cleansers, toners, body care, exfoliators, acne and oil correctors, facial masks, cleansing devices and sun care products.

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