Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) and The Bon-Ton Stores (OTCMKTS:BONT) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership and dividends.


Kohl's pays an annual dividend of $2.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.4%. The Bon-Ton Stores does not pay a dividend. Kohl's pays out 58.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Kohl's has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Kohl's and The Bon-Ton Stores, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Kohl's 4 9 6 0 2.11
The Bon-Ton Stores 0 0 0 0 N/A

Kohl's currently has a consensus target price of $43.09, indicating a potential downside of 13.43%. Given Kohl's’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Kohl's is more favorable than The Bon-Ton Stores.


This table compares Kohl's and The Bon-Ton Stores’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Kohl's 3.47% 12.72% 4.78%
The Bon-Ton Stores -3.57% N/A -5.09%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Kohl's and The Bon-Ton Stores’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Kohl's $18.69 billion 0.45 $556.00 million $3.77 13.20
The Bon-Ton Stores $2.67 billion 0.00 -$63.41 million ($4.60) -0.09

Kohl's has higher revenue and earnings than The Bon-Ton Stores. The Bon-Ton Stores is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Kohl's, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Kohl's has a beta of 1.24, indicating that its share price is 24% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, The Bon-Ton Stores has a beta of 3.13, indicating that its share price is 213% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

16.8% of The Bon-Ton Stores shares are held by institutional investors. 1.2% of Kohl's shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 45.7% of The Bon-Ton Stores shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


Kohl's beats The Bon-Ton Stores on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Kohl's

Kohl’s Corporation (Kohl’s) is an operator of department stores. The Company operates approximately 1,154 Kohl’s department stores, a Website (www.Kohls.com), approximately 12 FILA outlets, and approximately three Off-Aisle clearance centers. The Company’s stores and Website sell moderately-priced private label and national brand apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty and home products. The Company’s Website includes merchandise that is available in its stores, as well as merchandise that is available only online. The Company’s merchandise mix includes both national brands and private brands that are available only at Kohl’s. The Company’s private brands include Apt. 9, Croft & Barrow, Jumping Beans, SO and Sonoma Goods for Life. The Company’s exclusive brands include Food Network, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Rock & Republic and Simply Vera Vera Wang.

About The Bon-Ton Stores

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is a department store operator. The Company operates through two segments: stores and eCommerce (its Internet Websites). The Company offers a range of brand-name fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children. It operates approximately 270 stores in over 26 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates, encompassing a total of approximately 25 million square feet. Its nationally distributed brand assortment includes a range of labels in the apparel, accessories, footwear, cosmetics and home furnishings industries, such as Anne Klein, Calvin Klein, Carters, Chaps, Clarks, Clinique, Coach, Estee Lauder, Fossil, Free People, Frye, Jessica Simpson and Vince Camuto. Its private brand portfolio includes Laura Ashley, Ruff Hewn, Relativity and Casa by Victor Alfaro.

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