Unilever (NYSE: UL) is one of 32 publicly-traded companies in the “Personal Products” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Unilever to similar businesses based on the strength of its analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, valuation, risk, institutional ownership and profitability.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

17.8% of Unilever shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 57.5% of shares of all “Personal Products” companies are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Unilever shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 15.4% of shares of all “Personal Products” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Unilever pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Unilever pays out 68.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Personal Products” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.2% and pay out 60.4% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Unilever and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Unilever N/A N/A N/A
Unilever Competitors -23.34% 73.78% 1.23%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Unilever and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
Unilever $58.34 billion $5.74 billion 23.18
Unilever Competitors $16.34 billion $2.21 billion 411.65

Unilever has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Unilever is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Risk & Volatility

Unilever has a beta of 0.89, meaning that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Unilever’s peers have a beta of 1.12, meaning that their average stock price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Unilever and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Unilever 3 5 3 0 2.00
Unilever Competitors 361 1262 1526 24 2.38

Unilever presently has a consensus target price of $26.00, suggesting a potential downside of 53.46%. As a group, “Personal Products” companies have a potential upside of 16.25%. Given Unilever’s peers stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Unilever has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Summary

Unilever peers beat Unilever on 10 of the 14 factors compared.

About Unilever

Unilever PLC is a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. The Company’s segments include Personal Care, which primarily includes sales of skin care and hair care products, deodorants and oral care products; Foods, which primarily includes sales of soups, bouillons, sauces, snacks, mayonnaise, salad dressings, margarines and spreads; Home Care, which primarily includes sales of home care products, such as powders, liquids and capsules, soap bars and a range of cleaning products, and Refreshment, which primarily includes sales of ice cream and tea-based beverages. The Company’s geographical segments include Asia/AMET/RUB, The Americas and Europe. Its brands include Axe, Dirt is Good (Omo), Dove, Family Goodness (Rama), Heartbrand (Wall’s), Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona, Sunsilk and Surf. The Company operates in more than 100 countries, selling its products in more than 190 countries. The Company operates approximately 310 factories in over 70 countries.

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