Smart (NYSE: SFS) and SpartanNash (NASDAQ:SPTN) are both small-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and profitability.

Risk & Volatility

Smart has a beta of 0.31, meaning that its stock price is 69% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, SpartanNash has a beta of 1.06, meaning that its stock price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Smart and SpartanNash’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Smart 0.21% 4.14% 1.19%
SpartanNash 0.83% 10.00% 4.01%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

88.2% of SpartanNash shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.5% of Smart shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.0% of SpartanNash shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


SpartanNash pays an annual dividend of $0.66 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Smart does not pay a dividend. SpartanNash pays out 37.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Smart and SpartanNash’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Smart $4.44 billion 0.12 $136.62 million $0.12 61.25
SpartanNash $7.93 billion 0.12 $228.44 million $1.74 14.59

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Smart and SpartanNash, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Smart 1 5 4 0 2.30
SpartanNash 1 4 0 0 1.80

Smart presently has a consensus price target of $19.83, indicating a potential upside of 169.84%. SpartanNash has a consensus price target of $24.80, indicating a potential downside of 2.32%. Given Smart’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Smart is more favorable than SpartanNash.


SpartanNash beats Smart on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Smart Company Profile

Smart & Final Stores, Inc. is a food retailer. The Company is engaged in the business of selling fresh perishables and everyday grocery items, together with foodservice, packaging and janitorial products. The Company operates through two segments: Smart & Final, and Cash and Carry. The Smart & Final segment focuses on both household and business customers. Its Smart & Final stores offer various selections of fresh perishables and everyday grocery items, together with a focused selection of foodservice, packaging and janitorial products, under both national and private label brands. The Cash & Carry segment focuses primarily on restaurants, caterers and a range of other foodservice businesses. It operates non-membership warehouse-style grocery stores under the Smart & Final banner in California, Arizona, and Nevada. The Company also operates non-membership warehouse-style grocery stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada under the Cash & Carry banner.

SpartanNash Company Profile

SpartanNash Company is a multi-regional grocery distributor and grocery retailer. The Company’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers (independent retailers), select national retailers, its corporate owned retail stores, and the United States military commissaries. The Company operates through three segments: Food Distribution, Military and Retail. The Food Distribution segment provides a range of nationally branded and private brand grocery products and perishable food products to independent retailers, food service distributors and its corporate owned retail stores. The Military segment contracts with manufacturers to distribute a range of grocery products primarily to military commissaries and exchanges located in the United States, the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt. As of December 31, 2016, the Retail segment operated 157 corporate owned retail stores in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

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