Unilever PLC (NYSE: UL) and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) are both large-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership and valuation.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Unilever PLC and Colgate-Palmolive’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Unilever PLC $63.69 billion 2.53 $11.38 billion N/A N/A
Colgate-Palmolive $15.18 billion 4.12 $4.42 billion $2.69 26.40

Unilever PLC has higher revenue and earnings than Colgate-Palmolive.

Volatility and Risk

Unilever PLC has a beta of 0.88, meaning that its stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Colgate-Palmolive has a beta of 0.8, meaning that its stock price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

8.3% of Unilever PLC shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.7% of Colgate-Palmolive shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Unilever PLC shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Colgate-Palmolive shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Unilever PLC and Colgate-Palmolive’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
Colgate-Palmolive 15.83% 3,121.95% 20.57%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Unilever PLC and Colgate-Palmolive, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Unilever PLC 3 3 5 0 2.18
Colgate-Palmolive 0 10 2 0 2.17

Unilever PLC currently has a consensus target price of $26.00, indicating a potential downside of 54.54%. Colgate-Palmolive has a consensus target price of $74.80, indicating a potential upside of 5.32%. Given Colgate-Palmolive’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Colgate-Palmolive is more favorable than Unilever PLC.

Dividends

Unilever PLC pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Colgate-Palmolive pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Colgate-Palmolive pays out 59.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Colgate-Palmolive has raised its dividend for 53 consecutive years.

Summary

Colgate-Palmolive beats Unilever PLC on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Unilever PLC Company Profile

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.

Colgate-Palmolive Company Profile

Colgate-Palmolive Company (Colgate) is a consumer products company. The Company operates in two product segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care, and Pet Nutrition. The Oral, Personal and Home Care product segment is operated through five geographic segments, which include North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa/Eurasia. The Company’s oral care products include Colgate Total, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, Colgate Max Fresh and Colgate Optic White. The Company is also engaged in various product categories of the personal care market with operations in liquid hand soap, which it sells under the Palmolive, Protex and Softsoap brands. The Company manufactures and markets a range of products for the home care market, including Palmolive and Ajax dishwashing liquids, Fabuloso and Ajax household cleaners and Murphy’s Oil Soap. The Company, through its Hill’s Pet Nutrition segment (Hill’s), manufactures pet nutrition products for dogs and cats.

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