Darling Ingredients (NYSE: DAR) and Ingredion (NYSE:INGR) are both mid-cap non-cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, earnings, profitability, risk and institutional ownership.

Dividends

Ingredion pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Darling Ingredients does not pay a dividend. Ingredion pays out 34.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ingredion has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Volatility & Risk

Darling Ingredients has a beta of 1.52, indicating that its stock price is 52% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ingredion has a beta of 0.72, indicating that its stock price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

97.8% of Darling Ingredients shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.5% of Ingredion shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of Darling Ingredients shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.9% of Ingredion shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Darling Ingredients and Ingredion’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Darling Ingredients $3.40 billion 0.89 $102.31 million $0.38 48.18
Ingredion $5.70 billion 1.76 $485.00 million $6.98 20.05

Ingredion has higher revenue and earnings than Darling Ingredients. Ingredion is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Darling Ingredients, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Darling Ingredients and Ingredion, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Darling Ingredients 0 1 4 0 2.80
Ingredion 0 1 3 0 2.75

Darling Ingredients presently has a consensus target price of $19.40, suggesting a potential upside of 5.95%. Ingredion has a consensus target price of $138.33, suggesting a potential downside of 1.17%. Given Darling Ingredients’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Darling Ingredients is more favorable than Ingredion.

Profitability

This table compares Darling Ingredients and Ingredion’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Darling Ingredients 1.76% 2.96% 1.32%
Ingredion 8.73% 20.92% 9.68%

Summary

Ingredion beats Darling Ingredients on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Darling Ingredients

Darling Ingredients Inc. (Darling) is a developer and producer of sustainable natural ingredients from edible and inedible bio-nutrients, creating a range of ingredients and customized specialty solutions for customers in the pharmaceutical, food, pet food, feed, industrial, fuel, bioenergy and fertilizer industries. The Company operates through three segments: Feed Ingredients, Food Ingredients and Fuel Ingredients. The Company collects and transforms all aspects of animal by-product streams into useable and specialty ingredients, such as gelatin, edible fats, feed-grade fats, animal proteins and meals, plasma, pet food ingredients, organic fertilizers, yellow grease, fuel feedstocks, green energy, natural casings and hides. In addition, the Company provides grease trap services to food service establishments, environmental services to food processors and sells restaurant cooking oil delivery and collection equipment.

About Ingredion

Ingredion Incorporated is an ingredients solutions provider. The Company manufactures and sells sweetener, starches, nutrition ingredients and biomaterial solutions derived from the wet milling and processing of corn and other starch-based materials to a range of industries, both domestically and internationally. It operates through four segments: North America, South America, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). It turns corn, tapioca, potatoes, and other vegetables and fruits into ingredients and biomaterials for the food, beverage, paper and corrugating, brewing and other industries. Its product line includes animal feed products and edible corn oil. Its sweetener products include glucose syrups, high maltose syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), caramel color, dextrose, polyols, maltodextrins and glucose and syrup solids. Its starch-based products include both food-grade and industrial starches, and biomaterials. It also offers specialty ingredients.

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