Bob Evans Farms (NASDAQ: BOBE) and Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, risk, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

81.7% of Bob Evans Farms shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.7% of Aramark shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.2% of Bob Evans Farms shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of Aramark shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Bob Evans Farms has a beta of 0.54, suggesting that its stock price is 46% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aramark has a beta of 0.48, suggesting that its stock price is 52% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Bob Evans Farms pays an annual dividend of $1.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Aramark pays an annual dividend of $0.41 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Bob Evans Farms pays out 21.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Aramark pays out 29.9% 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. Bob Evans Farms has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years and Aramark has increased its dividend for 9 consecutive years. Bob Evans Farms is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Bob Evans Farms and Aramark, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Bob Evans Farms 0 3 3 0 2.50
Aramark 0 2 4 1 2.86

Bob Evans Farms presently has a consensus price target of $75.68, suggesting a potential upside of 13.14%. Aramark has a consensus price target of $43.14, suggesting a potential upside of 10.00%. Given Bob Evans Farms’ higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Bob Evans Farms is more favorable than Aramark.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Bob Evans Farms and Aramark’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Bob Evans Farms $394.84 million 3.38 $71.50 million $6.27 10.67
Aramark $14.49 billion 0.66 $1.29 billion $1.37 28.63

Aramark has higher revenue and earnings than Bob Evans Farms. Bob Evans Farms is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Aramark, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Bob Evans Farms and Aramark’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Bob Evans Farms 15.15% 19.58% 6.82%
Aramark 2.37% 19.29% 4.11%

Bob Evans Farms Company Profile

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. (Bob Evans) is a producer and distributor of refrigerated potato, pasta and vegetable-based side dishes, pork sausage, and a variety of refrigerated and frozen food items under the Bob Evans and Owens or Country Creek brand names. The Company’s food products are distributed to customers throughout the United States. Additionally, the Company manufactures and sells similar products to foodservice customers, restaurants and food sellers. The Company operates through BEF Foods segment. The BEF Foods segment offers a range of wholesome food products to retail and foodservice customers. The Company produces food products in its four manufacturing facilities. It produces sausage products at its plants located in Hillsdale, Michigan, and Xenia, Ohio.

Aramark Company Profile

Aramark is a global provider of food, facilities and uniform services to education, healthcare, business and industry, and sports, leisure and corrections clients. The Company operates through three segments: Food and Support Services North America (FSS North America), Food and Support Services International (FSS International), and Uniform and Career Apparel (Uniform). FSS North America and FSS International segments include food, refreshment, specialized dietary and support services, including facility maintenance and housekeeping, provided to business, educational and healthcare institutions and in sports, leisure and other facilities. The Uniform segment includes rental, sale, cleaning, maintenance and delivery of personalized uniforms and other textile items to clients in a range of industries in the United States, Puerto Rico, Japan and Canada, including manufacturing, transportation, construction, restaurants and hotels, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

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