HRG Group (NYSE: HRG) and The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ:MIDD) are both mid-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and earnings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

94.4% of HRG Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.3% of The Middleby Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 3.0% of HRG Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of The Middleby Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares HRG Group and The Middleby Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
HRG Group 2.49% -5.34% -0.27%
The Middleby Corporation 13.38% 23.05% 10.38%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for HRG Group and The Middleby Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
HRG Group 0 0 0 0 N/A
The Middleby Corporation 0 3 4 0 2.57

The Middleby Corporation has a consensus target price of $141.67, indicating a potential upside of 20.89%. Given The Middleby Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe The Middleby Corporation is more favorable than HRG Group.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares HRG Group and The Middleby Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
HRG Group $5.00 billion 0.63 $857.70 million $0.62 25.32
The Middleby Corporation $2.28 billion 2.96 $535.17 million $5.33 21.99

HRG Group has higher revenue and earnings than The Middleby Corporation. The Middleby Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than HRG Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

HRG Group has a beta of 1.29, suggesting that its share price is 29% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, The Middleby Corporation has a beta of 1.82, suggesting that its share price is 82% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

The Middleby Corporation beats HRG Group on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About HRG Group

HRG Group, Inc. is a holding company. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Products and Insurance. The Consumer Products segment consists of the Company’s subsidiary, Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (Spectrum Brands). The Insurance segment includes its subsidiary, Front Street Re (Delaware) Ltd. (Front Street). Through Spectrum Brands, the Company is a diversified global branded consumer products company. The Company offers seven product categories: consumer batteries, small appliances, global pet supplies, home and garden control products, personal care products, hardware and home improvement products and global auto care. Through Front Street, the Company is engaged in the business of providing long-term reinsurance, including reinsurance to the specialty insurance sector of fixed, deferred and payout annuities. The Company’s subsidiary, Fidelity & Guaranty Life (FGL), provides life insurance and annuity products.

About The Middleby Corporation

The Middleby Corporation is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of commercial foodservice, food processing equipment and residential kitchen equipment. The Company operates in three segments: the Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group, the Food Processing Equipment Group and the Residential Kitchen Equipment Group. It is also engaged in the design, manufacture, marketing, distribution and service of a range of foodservice equipment used in commercial restaurants and institutional kitchens; food preparation, cooking, baking, chilling and packaging equipment for food processing operations, and kitchen equipment, including ranges, ovens, refrigerators, ventilation and dishwashers used in the residential market. It manufactured and assembled the equipment at 28 facilities in the United States, and 23 international manufacturing facilities as of December 31, 2016. Its brands include Anets, Beech, Blodgett, Blodgett Combi, Stewart Systems, Mercury, Rangemaster, Rayburn and Redfyre.

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