Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) and Winn-Dixie Stores (NASDAQ:WINN) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends and risk.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Wal-Mart Stores and Winn-Dixie Stores’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Wal-Mart Stores $485.87 billion 0.59 $13.64 billion $3.76 25.74
Winn-Dixie Stores N/A N/A N/A ($0.24) N/A

Wal-Mart Stores has higher revenue and earnings than Winn-Dixie Stores. Winn-Dixie Stores is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Wal-Mart Stores, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Wal-Mart Stores and Winn-Dixie Stores, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Wal-Mart Stores 1 19 13 0 2.36
Winn-Dixie Stores 0 0 0 0 N/A

Wal-Mart Stores presently has a consensus price target of $91.85, suggesting a potential downside of 5.10%.

Dividends

Wal-Mart Stores pays an annual dividend of $2.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Winn-Dixie Stores does not pay a dividend. Wal-Mart Stores pays out 54.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Wal-Mart Stores has raised its dividend for 42 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

30.4% of Wal-Mart Stores shares are owned by institutional investors. 51.4% of Wal-Mart Stores shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Wal-Mart Stores and Winn-Dixie Stores’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Wal-Mart Stores 2.31% 16.92% 6.57%
Winn-Dixie Stores N/A N/A N/A

Summary

Wal-Mart Stores beats Winn-Dixie Stores on 10 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Wal-Mart Stores Company Profile

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world. The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club. The Walmart U.S. segment includes its mass merchant concept in the United States operating under the Walmart or Wal-Mart brands, as well as digital retail. The Walmart International segment consists of the Company’s operations outside of the United States, including various retail Websites. The Walmart International segment includes various formats divided into three categories: retail, wholesale and other. These categories consist of various formats, including supercenters, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs, such as Sam’s Clubs, cash and carry, home improvement, specialty electronics, apparel stores, drug stores and convenience stores, as well as digital retail. The Sam’s Club segment includes the warehouse membership clubs in the United States, and samsclub.com.

Winn-Dixie Stores Company Profile

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. operates as a food retailer in five states in the southeastern United States. The Company operated 484 retail stores, with four fuel centers and 75 liquor stores. In support of its stores, the Company operated six distribution centers. All of the Company’s stores offer grocery, dairy, frozen food, meat, seafood, produce, deli, bakery, floral, health and beauty, and other general merchandise items. Certain stores offer pharmacies, distilled spirits and fuel. The Company offers national brands, as well as many of its own private-label products. These products are delivered from its distribution centers or directly to stores from manufacturers and wholesalers. During the fiscal year ended June 29, 2011 (fiscal 2011), the Company closed 30 non-remodeled, underperforming stores.

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