Jack in the Box (NASDAQ: JACK) and El Pollo LoCo (NASDAQ:LOCO) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, valuation, risk and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Jack in the Box and El Pollo LoCo’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Jack in the Box 13.10% -26.21% 10.66%
El Pollo LoCo 0.85% 9.33% 5.77%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Jack in the Box and El Pollo LoCo, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Jack in the Box 0 7 8 0 2.53
El Pollo LoCo 0 3 1 0 2.25

Jack in the Box presently has a consensus price target of $105.50, suggesting a potential upside of 16.60%. El Pollo LoCo has a consensus price target of $12.00, suggesting a potential upside of 3.45%. Given Jack in the Box’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Jack in the Box is more favorable than El Pollo LoCo.

Volatility & Risk

Jack in the Box has a beta of 0.42, indicating that its share price is 58% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, El Pollo LoCo has a beta of 0.35, indicating that its share price is 65% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

83.4% of El Pollo LoCo shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.6% of Jack in the Box shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 46.0% of El Pollo LoCo shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Jack in the Box and El Pollo LoCo’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Jack in the Box $1.55 billion 1.66 $135.33 million $3.88 23.32
El Pollo LoCo $401.70 million 1.11 $8.61 million $0.63 18.41

Jack in the Box has higher revenue and earnings than El Pollo LoCo. El Pollo LoCo is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Jack in the Box, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Jack in the Box pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. El Pollo LoCo does not pay a dividend. Jack in the Box pays out 41.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Jack in the Box has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Summary

Jack in the Box beats El Pollo LoCo on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box Inc. operates and franchises Jack in the Box quick-service restaurants. As of April 15, 2018, it operated and franchised 2,245 Jack in the Box restaurants primarily in the western and southern United States and Guam. The company was founded in 1951 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

About El Pollo LoCo

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiary El Pollo Loco, Inc., develops, franchises, licenses, and operates quick-service restaurants under the El Pollo Loco name. The company specializes in offering flame-grilled chicken. As of July 2, 2018, it had approximately 475 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Louisiana. The company was formerly known as Chicken Acquisition Corp. and changed its name to El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. in April 2014. El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California.

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