Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) (NYSE: EL) and Unilever NV (NYSE:UN) 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 risk, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends and profitability.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

54.6% of Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 9.0% of Unilever NV shares are held by institutional investors. 17.0% of Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) and Unilever NV’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) 10.56% 32.38% 11.90%
Unilever NV N/A N/A N/A

Dividends

Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) pays an annual dividend of $1.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Unilever NV pays an annual dividend of $1.41 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) pays out 40.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Unilever NV has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Unilever NV is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) and Unilever NV, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) 0 4 16 0 2.80
Unilever NV 1 2 3 0 2.33

Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) presently has a consensus target price of $109.37, suggesting a potential upside of 1.20%. Given Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The)’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) is more favorable than Unilever NV.

Volatility & Risk

Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) has a beta of 0.67, suggesting that its stock price is 33% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Unilever NV has a beta of 0.9, suggesting that its stock price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) and Unilever NV’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) $11.82 billion 3.36 $2.35 billion $3.35 32.26
Unilever NV $63.43 billion 2.66 $11.34 billion N/A N/A

Unilever NV has higher revenue and earnings than Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The).

Summary

Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) beats Unilever NV on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (The) Company Profile

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. manufactures and markets skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company offers products, including skin care, makeup, fragrance, hair care and other. The Company operates in beauty products segment. The Company’s products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under brand names, including Estee Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, MAC, Kiton, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin, Tom Ford, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Tory Burch, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, GLAMGLOW, By Kilian, BECCA and Too Faced. Its skin care products include moisturizers, serums, cleansers, toners, body care, exfoliators, acne and oil correctors, facial masks, cleansing devices and sun care products.

Unilever NV Company Profile

Unilever N.V. 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.

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