Unifirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF) and Ituran Location and Control (NASDAQ:ITRN) are both industrial products companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, risk and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Unifirst Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.15 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. Ituran Location and Control pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Unifirst Corporation pays out 2.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ituran Location and Control pays out 49.2% 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.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Unifirst Corporation and Ituran Location and Control’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Unifirst Corporation $1.55 billion 1.89 $249.49 million $5.41 26.72
Ituran Location and Control $218.77 million 3.25 $65.10 million $1.95 17.41

Unifirst Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Ituran Location and Control. Ituran Location and Control is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Unifirst Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Unifirst Corporation and Ituran Location and Control’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Unifirst Corporation 7.12% 7.41% 5.96%
Ituran Location and Control 18.67% 36.12% 22.00%

Risk & Volatility

Unifirst Corporation has a beta of 0.7, indicating that its stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ituran Location and Control has a beta of 0.8, indicating that its stock price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Unifirst Corporation and Ituran Location and Control, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Unifirst Corporation 0 1 1 0 2.50
Ituran Location and Control 0 0 1 0 3.00

Unifirst Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $163.00, indicating a potential upside of 12.76%. Ituran Location and Control has a consensus price target of $31.00, indicating a potential downside of 8.69%. Given Unifirst Corporation’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Unifirst Corporation is more favorable than Ituran Location and Control.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

73.5% of Unifirst Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 51.8% of Ituran Location and Control shares are held by institutional investors. 6.7% of Unifirst Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Unifirst Corporation beats Ituran Location and Control on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Unifirst Corporation Company Profile

UniFirst Corporation is a provider of workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States. The Company designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. It operates in six segments: the US Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing (MFG), Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning (Specialty Garments), First Aid and Corporate. The Company also rents and sells industrial wiping products, floor mats, facility service products and other non-garment items, and provides restroom and cleaning supplies and first aid cabinet services, and other safety supplies. It also decontaminates and cleans work clothes, which has been exposed to radioactive materials and service special cleanroom protective wear and facilities.

Ituran Location and Control Company Profile

Ituran Location and Control Ltd. is a provider of location-based services, consisting of stolen vehicle recovery (SVR), fleet management services and other tracking services. The Company also provides wireless communication products used in connection with its location-based services and various other applications. Its operations consist of two segments: location-based services and wireless communications products. Its location-based services segment consists of its SVR and tracking services, fleet management and value-added services consisted of personal locater services and concierge services. Its wireless communications products segment consists of short and medium range two-way machine-to-machine wireless communications products that are used for various applications, including automatic vehicle location (AVL) and automatic vehicle identification. It primarily provides its services, as well as sells and leases its products in Israel, Brazil, Argentina and the United States.

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