lululemon athletica inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) and Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) are both mid-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership and dividends.

Dividends

Ralph Lauren Corporation pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. lululemon athletica inc. does not pay a dividend. Ralph Lauren Corporation pays out -869.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. lululemon athletica inc. has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

lululemon athletica inc. has a beta of 0.2, suggesting that its stock price is 80% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ralph Lauren Corporation has a beta of 0.6, suggesting that its stock price is 40% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares lululemon athletica inc. and Ralph Lauren Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
lululemon athletica inc. $2.44 billion 3.43 $519.98 million $2.08 29.69
Ralph Lauren Corporation $6.45 billion 1.13 $987.10 million ($0.23) -388.83

Ralph Lauren Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than lululemon athletica inc.. Ralph Lauren Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than lululemon athletica inc., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

80.4% of lululemon athletica inc. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 62.9% of Ralph Lauren Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.3% of lululemon athletica inc. shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 32.9% of Ralph Lauren Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares lululemon athletica inc. and Ralph Lauren Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
lululemon athletica inc. 11.68% 22.51% 18.58%
Ralph Lauren Corporation -0.27% 13.80% 8.14%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for lululemon athletica inc. and Ralph Lauren Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
lululemon athletica inc. 3 16 18 0 2.41
Ralph Lauren Corporation 2 11 4 0 2.12

lululemon athletica inc. currently has a consensus price target of $65.83, suggesting a potential upside of 6.59%. Ralph Lauren Corporation has a consensus price target of $87.15, suggesting a potential downside of 2.55%. Given lululemon athletica inc.’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe lululemon athletica inc. is more favorable than Ralph Lauren Corporation.

Summary

lululemon athletica inc. beats Ralph Lauren Corporation on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About lululemon athletica inc.

lululemon athletica inc. is a designer, distributor and retailer of athletic apparel. The Company operates through two segments: Company-operated stores and Direct to consumer. It is also engaged in the sale from outlets, showrooms, sales from temporary locations, sales to wholesale accounts, warehouse sales, and license and supply arrangements. Its direct to consumer segment generates revenue from its lululemon and ivivva e-commerce Websites, www.lululemon.com and www.ivivva.com, and other country and region specific Websites. It offers a range of apparel and accessories for women, men and female youth. The Company’s apparel assortment includes items, such as pants, shorts, tops, and jackets designed for healthy lifestyle and athletic activities, such as yoga, running, training, most other sweaty pursuits, and athletic wear for female youth. The Company also offers fitness-related accessories, including an array of items, such as bags, socks, underwear, yoga mats and water bottles.

About Ralph Lauren Corporation

Ralph Lauren Corporation is engaged in the design, marketing and distribution of lifestyle products, including apparel, accessories, home furnishings and other licensed product categories. The Company operates through three segments: Wholesale, Retail and Licensing. Wholesale business consists of sales made to department stores and specialty stores around the world. Retail business consists of sales made directly to consumers through retail channel, which includes Company’s’ retail stores, concession-based shop-within-shops and e-commerce operations around the world. Licensing business consists of royalty-based arrangements, under which the Company licenses to unrelated third parties for specified periods the right to operate retail stores and/or to use its various trademarks in connection with the manufacture and sale of designated products, such as certain apparel, eyewear, fragrances and home furnishings.

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