Smart & Final Stores (NYSE: SFS) and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE:NGVC) are both small-cap consumer staples companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, profitability, valuation, dividends and risk.
Insider and Institutional Ownership
33.7% of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage shares are held by institutional investors. 9.6% of Smart & Final Stores shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 60.0% of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.
This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Smart & Final Stores and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, as reported by MarketBeat.com.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|Smart & Final Stores||1||5||3||0||2.22|
|Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage||1||3||2||0||2.17|
Smart & Final Stores currently has a consensus target price of $9.33, suggesting a potential upside of 84.09%. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has a consensus target price of $9.00, suggesting a potential downside of 21.60%. Given Smart & Final Stores’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Smart & Final Stores is more favorable than Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage.
Risk and Volatility
Smart & Final Stores has a beta of 1.14, suggesting that its share price is 14% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has a beta of 1.09, suggesting that its share price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500.
This table compares Smart & Final Stores and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|Smart & Final Stores||-3.06%||4.93%||1.26%|
|Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage||1.28%||4.47%||2.04%|
Valuation and Earnings
This table compares Smart & Final Stores and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|Smart & Final Stores||$4.57 billion||0.08||-$138.91 million||$0.34||14.91|
|Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage||$769.03 million||0.33||$6.89 million||$0.31||37.03|
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Smart & Final Stores. Smart & Final Stores is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
Smart & Final Stores Company Profile
Smart & Final Stores, Inc. operates as a food retailer in the United States. It operates in two segments, Smart & Final, and Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice. The company operates non-membership warehouse-style grocery stores under the Smart & Final banner in California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as under the Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice banner in Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and Utah. Its stores offer fresh perishables and everyday grocery items, such as produce, meat and deli, dairy and cheese, grocery, and beverage products, as well as paper and packaging, and restaurant equipment and janitorial supplies. The company also provides various private label products under the First Street, Sun Harvest, Simply Value, La Romanella, Montecito, Iris, and Ambiance brands. It sells its products to household and business customers; restaurants; caterers; and various other foodservice businesses, such as food trucks and coffee houses through vendors and suppliers. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 323 stores, including 260 Smart & Final stores and 63 Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice stores. Smart & Final Stores, Inc. was founded in 1871 and is based in Commerce, California.
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Company Profile
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, retails natural and organic groceries, and dietary supplements in the United States. The company's stores offer natural and organic grocery products, such as organic produce; bulk food and private label products; dry, frozen, and canned groceries; meat and seafood products; dairy products, dairy substitutes, and eggs; prepared foods; bread and baked products; beverages; and beer, wine, and hard cider products. Its stores also provide private label dietary supplements; body care products comprising cosmetics, skin care, hair care, fragrance, and personal care products containing natural and organic ingredients; pet care and food products; books and handouts; and household and general merchandise, including cleaning supplies, paper products, and dish and laundry soaps, as well as other common household products, such as diapers. The company operates its retail stores under the Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage trademark. As of February 15, 2018, it operated 144 stores in 19 states. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado.
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