Essendant (NASDAQ: ESND) and Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

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97.1% of Essendant shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.6% of Hasbro shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.2% of Essendant shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.0% of Hasbro shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Essendant and Hasbro, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Essendant 0 0 0 0 N/A
Hasbro 0 6 6 0 2.50

Hasbro has a consensus target price of $107.83, suggesting a potential upside of 24.52%. Given Hasbro’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Hasbro is more favorable than Essendant.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Essendant and Hasbro’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Essendant $5.04 billion 0.06 -$266.98 million ($7.28) -1.13
Hasbro $5.21 billion 2.06 $396.60 million $3.12 27.76

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

Profitability

This table compares Essendant and Hasbro’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Essendant -5.30% 4.53% 1.35%
Hasbro 7.61% 36.36% 13.32%

Risk & Volatility

Essendant has a beta of 1.16, suggesting that its stock price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hasbro has a beta of 0.82, suggesting that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Essendant pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.8%. Hasbro pays an annual dividend of $2.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Essendant pays out -7.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Hasbro pays out 73.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Essendant is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

Hasbro beats Essendant on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Essendant

Essendant Inc. (Essendant) is a wholesale distributor of workplace items. The Company’s product portfolio includes Janitorial, Foodservice and Breakroom Supplies (JanSan), Technology Products, Traditional Office Products, Industrial Supplies, Cut Sheet Paper Products, Automotive Products and Office Furniture. It operates principally within the United States, with additional operations in Canada and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided access to over 22,000 items in these lines: janitorial supplies (cleaners and cleaning accessories), breakroom items (food and beverage products), foodservice consumables (such as disposable cups, plates and utensils), safety and security items, and paper and packaging supplies. As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided access to approximately 11,000 items, including imaging supplies, data storage, digital cameras, computer accessories and computer hardware items, such as printers and other peripherals.

About Hasbro

Hasbro, Inc. (Hasbro) is a play and entertainment company. The Company’s operating segments include the U.S. and Canada, International, and Entertainment and Licensing. From toys and games to content development, including television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a consumer products licensing program, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection for children and families around the world. The Company’s U.S. and Canada segment is engaged in the marketing and sale of its products in the United States and Canada. The International segment is engaged in the marketing and sale of the Company’s product categories to retailers and wholesalers in most countries in Europe, Latin and South America, and the Asia Pacific region and through distributors in those countries where it has no direct presence. The Entertainment and Licensing segment includes the Company’s consumer products licensing, digital gaming, television and movie entertainment operations.

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