Hershey (NYSE: HSY) and Blue Apron (NYSE:APRN) are both non-cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

51.2% of Hershey shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 58.4% of Blue Apron shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Hershey shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Hershey and Blue Apron’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Hershey $7.44 billion 3.12 $720.04 million $3.36 32.76
Blue Apron $795.41 million 0.13 -$54.88 million ($1.05) -3.36

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Hershey and Blue Apron, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Hershey 1 7 4 0 2.25
Blue Apron 1 12 3 0 2.13

Hershey currently has a consensus target price of $114.58, indicating a potential upside of 4.08%. Blue Apron has a consensus target price of $7.04, indicating a potential upside of 99.39%. Given Blue Apron’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Blue Apron is more favorable than Hershey.

Dividends

Hershey pays an annual dividend of $2.62 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Blue Apron does not pay a dividend. Hershey pays out 78.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Hershey has raised its dividend for 8 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Hershey and Blue Apron’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Hershey 9.52% 124.06% 19.16%
Blue Apron -21.67% N/A -51.87%

Summary

Hershey beats Blue Apron on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Hershey Company Profile

The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate in North America. The Company’s principal product offerings include chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites and mixes. Its segments include North America, and International and Other. The North America segment includes its chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery business, as well as its grocery and snacks business. This includes developing and growing its business in chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery, pantry, food service and other snacking product lines. The Company distributes and sells confectionery products in export markets of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and other regions. As of December 31, 2016, the Company marketed, sold and distributed its products under more than 80 brand names in approximately 70 countries across the world.

Blue Apron Company Profile

Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is focused on providing recipes and fresh ingredients for making home cooking accessible. The Company offers under a novel business model in which it source, process, store and package meal ingredients and ship them directly to consumers. The Company’s core products include Meals and Wine. Meals product, which offers two meal plans, such as two person plan and family plan. Two person plan, which includes three recipes per week (chosen from six options), each of which serves two people and shipping is free. The Company provides original recipes with the pre-portioned ingredients to complement tastes and lifestyles of college graduates, young couples, families, singles, and empty nesters.

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