Unilever PLC (NYSE: UL) and Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

7.3% of Unilever PLC shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.2% of Avon Products shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Unilever PLC shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of Avon Products shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Unilever PLC and Avon Products’ 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
Avon Products -0.99% -3.68% -0.23%

Risk and Volatility

Unilever PLC has a beta of 0.88, suggesting that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Avon Products has a beta of 1.88, suggesting that its share price is 88% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Unilever PLC pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Avon Products does not pay a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Unilever PLC and Avon Products, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Unilever PLC 3 3 3 0 2.00
Avon Products 1 5 0 0 1.83

Unilever PLC currently has a consensus target price of $26.00, suggesting a potential downside of 55.92%. Avon Products has a consensus target price of $3.62, suggesting a potential upside of 42.39%. Given Avon Products’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Avon Products is more favorable than Unilever PLC.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Unilever PLC and Avon Products’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Unilever PLC $63.43 billion 2.62 $11.34 billion N/A N/A
Avon Products $5.71 billion 0.20 $385.60 million ($0.19) -13.37

Unilever PLC has higher revenue and earnings than Avon Products.

Summary

Unilever PLC beats Avon Products on 9 of the 13 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.

Avon Products Company Profile

Avon Products, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of beauty and related products. The Company’s segments include Europe, Middle East & Africa; South Latin America; North Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Its product categories are Beauty, and Fashion and Home. Beauty consists of skincare (which includes personal care), fragrance and color (cosmetics). Fashion and Home consists of fashion jewelry, watches, apparel, footwear, accessories, gift and decorative products, housewares, entertainment and leisure products, children’s products and nutritional products. The Company’s products include Anew Ultimate Supreme Advanced Performance Creme, Anew Vitale Visible Perfection Blurring Treatment, Big & Multiplied Volume Mascara, Avon True Perfectly Matte Lipstick, Avon Life for Him and for Her Fragrances, Far Away Infinity Fragrance and Avon Nutra Effects body collection with Active Seed Complex. The Company primarily sells its products to the consumer through the direct-selling channel.

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