Cott Corporation (NYSE: COT) and Knoll (NYSE:KNL) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitabiliy, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, risk and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Cott Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Knoll pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. Cott Corporation pays out -23.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Knoll pays out 41.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Cott Corporation has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Cott Corporation and Knoll’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cott Corporation -3.88% 0.53% 0.12%
Knoll 6.43% 23.64% 8.51%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Cott Corporation and Knoll, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cott Corporation 0 2 4 0 2.67
Knoll 0 1 1 0 2.50

Cott Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $17.04, indicating a potential upside of 9.38%. Knoll has a consensus target price of $27.00, indicating a potential upside of 44.69%. Given Knoll’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Knoll is more favorable than Cott Corporation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

98.0% of Knoll shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.1% of Cott Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.9% of Knoll shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Cott Corporation and Knoll’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cott Corporation $3.43 billion 0.63 $369.20 million ($1.03) -15.13
Knoll $1.11 billion 0.82 $141.65 million $1.45 12.87

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

Risk and Volatility

Cott Corporation has a beta of 0.78, meaning that its stock price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Knoll has a beta of 0.98, meaning that its stock price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Knoll beats Cott Corporation on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cott Corporation Company Profile

Cott Corp is a Canada-based company, which along with its subsidiaries, is engaged in production of beverages on behalf of retailers, brand owners and distributors. The Company operates through five operating segments: Water & Coffee Solutions; Cott North America; Cott United Kingdom (Cott U.K.), Royal Crown International (RCI) and Mexico. Water & Coffee Solutions segment provides direct-to-consumer products, such as bottled water, coffee, brewed tea, water dispensers, coffee and tea brewers, and filtration equipment. Its traditional business consists of its Cott North America, Cott U.K. and All Other segments. Its traditional business produces products, including carbonated soft drinks, shelf stable juice and juice-based products, clear, still and sparkling flavored waters, energy drinks and shots, sports drinks, new age beverages, ready-to liquid enhancers, freezables, hot chocolate, creamers/whiteners, cereals and beverage concentrates directly or through third-party manufacturers.

Knoll Company Profile

Knoll, Inc. is a manufacturer of commercial and residential furniture, accessories and coverings. The Company operates through three segments: Office, Studio and Coverings. The Office segment includes a range of workplace products that address workplace planning paradigms. These products include systems furniture, seating, storage, tables, desks and KnollExtra accessories, as well as the international sales of its North American Office products. The Studio segment includes KnollStudio products, DatesWeiser, HOLLY HUNT and Knoll Europe. The Coverings segment includes KnollTextiles, Spinneybeck (including Filzfelt), and Edelman Leather. These businesses provide a range of customers with fabrics, felt, leather and related architectural products. KnollStudio products include iconic seating, lounge furniture, side, cafe and dining chairs, as well as conference, training, dining and occasional tables.

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