Hershey Company (The) (NYSE: HSY) and SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, profitabiliy, institutional ownership, risk, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Hershey Company (The) and SunOpta, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Hershey Company (The) 2 9 3 0 2.07
SunOpta 0 2 3 0 2.60

Hershey Company (The) presently has a consensus target price of $108.86, indicating a potential upside of 3.81%. SunOpta has a consensus target price of $8.88, indicating a potential downside of 4.05%. Given Hershey Company (The)’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Hershey Company (The) is more favorable than SunOpta.

Dividends

Hershey Company (The) pays an annual dividend of $2.47 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. SunOpta does not pay a dividend. 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. SunOpta has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Hershey Company (The) and SunOpta’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Hershey Company (The) $7.52 billion 2.12 $1.72 billion $3.14 33.40
SunOpta $1.32 billion 0.60 $73.36 million ($0.66) -14.01

Hershey Company (The) has higher revenue and earnings than SunOpta. SunOpta 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.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Hershey Company (The) 8.95% 119.66% 18.88%
SunOpta -3.95% 0.58% 0.19%

Risk & Volatility

Hershey Company (The) has a beta of 0.38, meaning that its stock price is 62% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, SunOpta has a beta of 1.76, meaning that its stock price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

51.2% of Hershey Company (The) shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.4% of SunOpta shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Hershey Company (The) shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.9% of SunOpta shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Hershey Company (The) beats SunOpta on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Hershey Company (The) Company Profile

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.

SunOpta Company Profile

Sunopta Inc is a Canada-based company, which operates businesses focused on a healthy products portfolio. It operates through the following segments: Global Ingredients and Consumer Products. The Global Ingredients segment aggregates its North American and international raw material sourcing and supply operating segments focused on the procurement, processing and sale of specialty and organic grains, seeds, fruits, grain- and cocoa-based ingredients, and other commodities. The Consumer Products segment provides healthy and organic food products that are consumer-packaged to retailers, foodservice distributors and food manufacturers with a range of branded and private label products. It is focused on sourcing non-genetically modified (non-GMO) and organic ingredients, and manufacturing healthy food and beverage products. It manufactures packaged products focused on the healthy beverage, healthy fruit and healthy snack categories.

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