Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI) and Graham Holdings (NYSE:GHC) are both mid-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Dividends

Service Corporation International pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Graham Holdings pays an annual dividend of $5.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Service Corporation International pays out 31.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Graham Holdings pays out 22.9% 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. Service Corporation International has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Service Corporation International is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Service Corporation International and Graham Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Service Corporation International 0 0 3 0 3.00
Graham Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A

Service Corporation International presently has a consensus target price of $39.67, indicating a potential upside of 11.39%. Given Service Corporation International’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Service Corporation International is more favorable than Graham Holdings.

Volatility & Risk

Service Corporation International has a beta of 0.96, meaning that its stock price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Graham Holdings has a beta of 0.73, meaning that its stock price is 27% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Service Corporation International and Graham Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Service Corporation International 11.83% 24.85% 2.38%
Graham Holdings 4.90% 5.50% 3.07%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

85.5% of Service Corporation International shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.7% of Graham Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.2% of Service Corporation International shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 22.5% of Graham Holdings shares are owned 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.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Service Corporation International and Graham Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Service Corporation International $3.03 billion 2.20 $177.03 million $1.90 18.74
Graham Holdings $2.48 billion 1.28 $168.59 million $22.20 25.92

Service Corporation International has higher revenue and earnings than Graham Holdings. Service Corporation International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Graham Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Service Corporation International beats Graham Holdings on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Service Corporation International Company Profile

Service Corporation International is a provider of deathcare products and services, with a network of funeral service locations and cemeteries. The Company’s segments include Funeral, Cemetery and Corporate. It conducts both funeral and cemetery operations in the United States and Canada. As December 31, 2016, it operated 1,502 funeral service locations and 470 cemeteries, including 281 funeral service/cemetery combination locations, which are geographically diversified across 45 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It offers various brands, such as Dignity Memorial, Dignity Planning, National Cremation Society, Advantage Funeral and Cremation Services, and Funeraria del Angel. Its funeral service and cemetery operations consist of funeral service locations, cemeteries, funeral service/cemetery combination locations, crematoria, and related businesses. It sells cemetery property, and funeral and cemetery merchandise and services.

Graham Holdings Company Profile

Graham Holdings Company, formerly The Washington Post Company, is a diversified education and media company whose principal operations include educational services, television broadcasting, cable television systems, and online, print and local TV news. The Company owns Kaplan, a provider of educational services to individuals, schools and businesses, serving over one million students annually with operations in more than 30 countries. Its programs include higher education, test preparation, language instruction and professional training. Its Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc owns six television stations which include WDIV-Detroit (NBC), KPRC-Houston (NBC),WPLG-Miami (ABC), WKMG-Orlando (CBS), KSAT-San Antonio (ABC) and WJXT-Jacksonville (independent). The stations also broadcast digital channels focusing on classic television and lifestyle programming, in addition to operating mobile sites and mobile applications delivering breaking news, weather and community news.

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