Contrasting UniFirst (UNF) & Acacia Research (ACTG)

UniFirst (NYSE: UNF) and Acacia Research (NASDAQ:ACTG) are both industrials companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for UniFirst and Acacia Research, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
UniFirst 0 1 1 0 2.50
Acacia Research 1 0 1 0 2.00

UniFirst presently has a consensus price target of $171.00, suggesting a potential upside of 0.74%. Acacia Research has a consensus price target of $6.50, suggesting a potential upside of 64.56%. Given Acacia Research’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Acacia Research is more favorable than UniFirst.


This table compares UniFirst and Acacia Research’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
UniFirst 4.69% 7.72% 6.21%
Acacia Research 145.12% 50.75% 46.80%


UniFirst pays an annual dividend of $0.15 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. Acacia Research does not pay a dividend. UniFirst pays out 4.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

74.0% of UniFirst shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 67.1% of Acacia Research shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of UniFirst shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.7% of Acacia Research shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

UniFirst has a beta of 0.74, meaning that its stock price is 26% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Acacia Research has a beta of 1.21, meaning that its stock price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares UniFirst and Acacia Research’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
UniFirst $1.59 billion 2.16 $70.19 million $3.74 45.39
Acacia Research $152.70 million 1.31 -$54.06 million $2.40 1.65

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


UniFirst beats Acacia Research on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

UniFirst Company Profile

UniFirst Corporation is a provider of workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States. The Company designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. It operates in six segments: the US Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing (MFG), Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning (Specialty Garments), First Aid and Corporate. The Company also rents and sells industrial wiping products, floor mats, facility service products and other non-garment items, and provides restroom and cleaning supplies and first aid cabinet services, and other safety supplies. It also decontaminates and cleans work clothes, which has been exposed to radioactive materials and service special cleanroom protective wear and facilities.

Acacia Research Company Profile

Acacia Research Corporation, through its subsidiaries, invests in, licenses and enforces patented technologies. The Company’s operating subsidiaries partner with inventors and patent owners, applying their legal and technology expertise to patent assets to unlock the financial value in their patented inventions. The Company’s operating subsidiaries assist patent owners with the prosecution and development of their patent portfolios, the protection of their patented inventions from unauthorized use, the generation of licensing revenue from users of their patented technologies and, where necessary, with the enforcement against unauthorized users of their patented technologies through the filing of patent infringement litigation. The Company’s operating subsidiaries own or control the rights to multiple patent portfolios, which include the United States patents and certain foreign counterparts, covering technologies used in a range of industries.

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