Winn-Dixie Stores (NASDAQ: WINN) and Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) are both non-cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, risk, dividends and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

79.2% of Whole Foods Market shares are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of Whole Foods Market shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Winn-Dixie Stores and Whole Foods Market’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Winn-Dixie Stores N/A N/A N/A ($0.24) N/A
Whole Foods Market N/A N/A N/A $1.21 34.70

Winn-Dixie Stores is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Whole Foods Market, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Winn-Dixie Stores and Whole Foods Market, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Winn-Dixie Stores 0 0 0 0 N/A
Whole Foods Market 2 18 2 0 2.00

Whole Foods Market has a consensus target price of $37.76, indicating a potential downside of 10.06%.

Profitability

This table compares Winn-Dixie Stores and Whole Foods Market’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Winn-Dixie Stores N/A N/A N/A
Whole Foods Market -1.51% -6.94% -3.60%

Dividends

Whole Foods Market pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Winn-Dixie Stores does not pay a dividend. Whole Foods Market pays out 59.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

Whole Foods Market beats Winn-Dixie Stores on 5 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

Whole Foods Market Company Profile

Whole Foods Market, Inc. is engaged in the business of natural and organic foods supermarket. The Company operates approximately 456 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its stores have an average size of approximately 39,000 square feet, and are supported by its distribution centers, bake house facilities, commissary kitchens, seafood-processing facilities, a produce procurement center, and a specialty coffee and tea procurement and roasting operation, among others. It offers over 30,000 organic stock keeping units (SKUs), covering various areas of its store, including produce, packaged goods, bulk, frozen, dairy, meat, bakery, prepared foods, coffee, tea, beer, wine, cheese, nutritional supplements, vitamins, body care, pet foods and household goods. The Company’s brands include 365 Everyday Value, Allegro Coffee, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws, and Engine 2 Plant-Strong. It also offers approximately 400 temporary exclusives.

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