GNC Holdings (NYSE: GNC) and Delhaize Group SA (NYSE:DEG) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

79.5% of GNC Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. 1.9% of GNC Holdings shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares GNC Holdings and Delhaize Group SA’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
GNC Holdings -14.56% 285.93% 4.49%
Delhaize Group SA 1.77% 7.11% 3.43%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares GNC Holdings and Delhaize Group SA’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
GNC Holdings $2.48 billion 0.27 $278.86 million ($5.30) -1.85
Delhaize Group SA N/A N/A N/A $1.19 23.62

GNC Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than Delhaize Group SA. GNC Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Delhaize Group SA, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

GNC Holdings pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.1%. Delhaize Group SA pays an annual dividend of $0.35 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. GNC Holdings pays out -7.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Delhaize Group SA pays out 29.4% 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. Delhaize Group SA has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years. GNC Holdings is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Volatility & Risk

GNC Holdings has a beta of 0.86, indicating that its stock price is 14% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Delhaize Group SA has a beta of 0.98, indicating that its stock price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for GNC Holdings and Delhaize Group SA, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
GNC Holdings 5 2 0 0 1.29
Delhaize Group SA 0 0 1 0 3.00

GNC Holdings currently has a consensus price target of $9.67, indicating a potential downside of 1.16%. Given GNC Holdings’ higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe GNC Holdings is more favorable than Delhaize Group SA.

Summary

GNC Holdings beats Delhaize Group SA on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

GNC Holdings Company Profile

GNC Holdings, Inc. is a specialty retailer of health, wellness and performance products, which include protein, performance supplements, weight management supplements, vitamins, herbs and greens, wellness supplements, health and beauty, food and drink and other general merchandise. The Company’s operations consist of purchasing raw materials, formulating and manufacturing products and selling the finished products. It operates in three segments: U.S. and Canada, International and Manufacturing/Wholesale. Its U.S. and Canada segment generates revenues primarily from sales of products to customers at its Company-owned stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, through its Websites, GNC.com and LuckyVitamin.com. Its International segment generates revenue primarily to its international franchisees. Its Manufacturing/Wholesale segment comprises its manufacturing operations in South Carolina and its wholesale partner relationships.

Delhaize Group SA Company Profile

Delhaize le Lion de Leeuw BV (Belgium Branch), formerly Delhaize Group SA, is a Belgium-based food retailer. The Company operates through three segments: the United States, including Food Lion and Hannaford banners; Belgium, including Delhaize Le Lion and AD Delhaize banners, and Southeastern Europe (SEE), including Alfa Beta, Mega Image and Shop&Go banners. The Company is principally engaged in the operation of food supermarkets through Company-operated, affiliated and franchised stores. Affiliated stores are with its banners that are operated by independent third parties to whom the Company sells its products at wholesale prices. Its store network also includes other store formats, such as proximity, cash and carry, and specialty stores. The Company has stores located in the United States (Northeast, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic), Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Serbia, Romania and Indonesia. The Company operates over 3,510 stores.

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