WhiteWave Foods (NYSE: WWAV) and Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) are both non-cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitabiliy, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends and earnings.

Dividends

Dean Foods pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. WhiteWave Foods does not pay a dividend. Dean Foods pays out 46.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

80.6% of WhiteWave Foods shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.2% of WhiteWave Foods shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Dean Foods shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares WhiteWave Foods and Dean Foods’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
WhiteWave Foods N/A N/A N/A $1.11 50.67
Dean Foods $7.83 billion 0.17 $396.16 million $0.77 19.32

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for WhiteWave Foods and Dean Foods, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
WhiteWave Foods 1 8 1 0 2.00
Dean Foods 3 1 5 0 2.22

WhiteWave Foods currently has a consensus price target of $56.18, suggesting a potential downside of 0.11%. Dean Foods has a consensus price target of $18.17, suggesting a potential upside of 22.09%. Given Dean Foods’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Dean Foods is more favorable than WhiteWave Foods.

Profitability

This table compares WhiteWave Foods and Dean Foods’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
WhiteWave Foods 6.21% 17.51% 5.92%
Dean Foods 0.91% 19.34% 4.49%

Risk and Volatility

WhiteWave Foods has a beta of 1.46, meaning that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Dean Foods has a beta of 0.54, meaning that its stock price is 46% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

WhiteWave Foods beats Dean Foods on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

WhiteWave Foods Company Profile

The WhiteWave Foods Company is a consumer packaged food and beverage company. The Company manufactures, markets, distributes and sells branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, dairy products and organic produce. It operates through two segments: Americas Foods & Beverages and Europe Foods & Beverages. The Americas Foods & Beverages segment includes plant-based foods and beverages, including its Silk and So Delicious branded beverages, such as soymilk, almondmilk, coconutmilk and cashewmilk, ice cream and frozen products, and plant-based yogurts, and Vega plant-based products. The Europe Foods & Beverages segment includes plant-based foods and beverages, such as its Alpro and Provamel brand beverages using soy, almond, coconut, hazelnut, rice and oat and other plant-based ingredients, and plant-based alternatives to yogurt, culinary creams, desserts and margarine. It sells products primarily in North America, Europe and through a joint venture in China.

Dean Foods Company Profile

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States. It also offers juices, teas and bottled water. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had over 50 national, regional and local dairy brands, as well as private labels. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s national, local and regional licensed brands included Alta Dena, Hygeia, PET, Arctic Splash, Jilbert, Pog, Barbers Dairy, Purity, Berkeley Farms, Land-O-Sun & design and ReadyLeaf, Broughton.

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