Critical Comparison: United Natural Foods (UNFI) & Weis Markets (WMK)
United Natural Foods (NASDAQ: UNFI) and Weis Markets (NYSE:WMK) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends and valuation.
Earnings & Valuation
This table compares United Natural Foods and Weis Markets’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|United Natural Foods||$9.27 billion||0.27||$130.15 million||$2.58||19.23|
|Weis Markets||$3.14 billion||0.35||$87.16 million||$2.82||14.67|
This is a summary of current ratings for United Natural Foods and Weis Markets, as provided by MarketBeat.com.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|United Natural Foods||5||8||5||0||2.00|
United Natural Foods presently has a consensus target price of $43.24, suggesting a potential downside of 12.87%. Given United Natural Foods’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe United Natural Foods is more favorable than Weis Markets.
This table compares United Natural Foods and Weis Markets’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|United Natural Foods||1.39%||8.04%||4.53%|
Insider and Institutional Ownership
31.9% of Weis Markets shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.4% of United Natural Foods shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 26.9% of Weis Markets shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.
Risk and Volatility
United Natural Foods has a beta of 1.46, meaning that its share price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Weis Markets has a beta of 0.69, meaning that its share price is 31% less volatile than the S&P 500.
Weis Markets pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. United Natural Foods does not pay a dividend. Weis Markets pays out 42.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.
Weis Markets beats United Natural Foods on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.
About United Natural Foods
United Natural Foods, Inc. is a distributor and retailer of natural, organic and specialty products. The Company’s segments include Wholesale and Other. The Wholesale segment is engaged in the national distribution of natural, organic and specialty foods, produce and related products in the United States and Canada. The Other segment includes a retail division, which engages in the sale of natural foods and related products to the general public through retail storefronts on the east coast of the United States; a manufacturing division, which engages in importing, roasting and packaging of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and snack items, and its branded product lines. Its operations consist of three operating divisions: Wholesale Division, Retail Division, and Manufacturing and Branded Products divisions. As of July 30, 2016, the Company had offered 100,000 natural, organic and specialty foods, and non-food products, consisting of national, regional and private-label brands.
About Weis Markets
Weis Markets, Inc. is engaged principally in the retail sale of food in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The Company’s retail food stores sell groceries, dairy products, frozen foods, meats, seafood, fresh produce, floral, pharmacy services, deli products, prepared foods, bakery products, beer and wine, fuel and general merchandise items, such as health and beauty care and household products. As of December 31, 2016, it had owned and operated approximately 204 retail food stores. The majority of the Company’s stores are concentrated in central and northeast Pennsylvania, central Maryland, suburban Washington, District of Columbia and Baltimore regions and New York’s Southern Tier. As of December 31, 2016, it had operated four stores in Delaware, 50 stores in Maryland, five stores in New Jersey, nine stores in New York, 121 stores in Pennsylvania, 13 stores in Virginia and two stores in West Virginia, for a total of 204 retail food stores operating under the Weis Markets name.
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