Sonoco Products (NYSE: SON) and Crown Holdings (NYSE:CCK) are both mid-cap non-paper containers & packaging – nec companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation, earnings, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Sonoco Products pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Crown Holdings does not pay a dividend. Sonoco Products pays out 57.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Crown Holdings has raised its dividend for 36 consecutive years.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Sonoco Products and Crown Holdings’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sonoco Products $4.78 billion 1.07 $286.43 million $2.72 18.92
Crown Holdings $8.28 billion 0.97 $496.00 million $3.50 17.08

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

71.6% of Sonoco Products shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.9% of Crown Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.9% of Sonoco Products shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.8% of Crown Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Sonoco Products and Crown Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sonoco Products 5.63% 16.40% 6.38%
Crown Holdings 5.64% 60.44% 5.37%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Sonoco Products and Crown Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sonoco Products 1 5 2 0 2.13
Crown Holdings 0 5 5 0 2.50

Sonoco Products presently has a consensus price target of $52.00, suggesting a potential upside of 1.07%. Crown Holdings has a consensus price target of $63.89, suggesting a potential upside of 6.86%. Given Crown Holdings’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Crown Holdings is more favorable than Sonoco Products.

Volatility and Risk

Sonoco Products has a beta of 1.15, suggesting that its stock price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Crown Holdings has a beta of 1.44, suggesting that its stock price is 44% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Crown Holdings beats Sonoco Products on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sonoco Products Company Profile

Sonoco Products Company is engaged in manufacturing of industrial and consumer packaging products, and providing packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management. The Display and Packaging segment’s products and services include point-of-purchase displays; fulfilment; supply chain management, and paperboard specialties. Its Paper and Industrial Converted Products segment provides the raw material for its fiber-based packaging. The Protective Solutions segment’s products and services include custom-engineered and expanded foam protective packaging and components, and temperature-assured packaging.

Crown Holdings Company Profile

Crown Holdings, Inc. is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of packaging products for consumer goods. The Company’s business is organized within three divisions: Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Within each division, the Company is organized along product lines. The Company’s segments within the Americas Division are Americas Beverage and North America Food. The Company’s segments within the European Division are European Beverage and European Food. The Company’s Asia Pacific Division segment consists of its beverage and non-beverage can operations. The Company is also engaged in European aerosol and specialty packaging business, its North American aerosol can business, and its tooling and equipment operations in the Unites States and the United Kingdom. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated 146 plants along with sales and service facilities throughout 36 countries. It also has three canmaking and spare part operations in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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