Financial Contrast: Central Garden & Pet (CENT) versus WhiteWave Foods (WWAV)

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT) and WhiteWave Foods (NYSE:WWAV) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.

Volatility and Risk

Central Garden & Pet has a beta of 0.11, indicating that its stock price is 89% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, WhiteWave Foods has a beta of 1.46, indicating that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Central Garden & Pet and WhiteWave Foods, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Central Garden & Pet 0 2 3 0 2.60
WhiteWave Foods 0 2 0 0 2.00

Central Garden & Pet currently has a consensus price target of $38.33, suggesting a potential downside of 0.54%. WhiteWave Foods has a consensus price target of $56.13, suggesting a potential downside of 0.20%. Given WhiteWave Foods’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe WhiteWave Foods is more favorable than Central Garden & Pet.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Central Garden & Pet and WhiteWave Foods’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Central Garden & Pet $1.98 billion 1.01 $202.40 million $1.33 28.98
WhiteWave Foods N/A N/A N/A $1.11 50.67

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

20.2% of Central Garden & Pet shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.6% of WhiteWave Foods shares are held by institutional investors. 11.6% of Central Garden & Pet shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.2% of WhiteWave Foods shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Central Garden & Pet and WhiteWave Foods’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Central Garden & Pet 3.49% 13.66% 6.13%
WhiteWave Foods 6.21% 17.51% 5.92%

Summary

Central Garden & Pet beats WhiteWave Foods on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Central Garden & Pet Company Profile

Central Garden & Pet Company is a marketer and producer of branded products and distributor of third party products in the pet and lawn and garden supplies industries in the United States. The Company operates in two segments: Pet segment and the Garden segment. It is a marketer and producer of pet supplies in the United States. In addition, its Pet segment operates sales and logistics networks in the industry strategically supporting its brands. Its principal pet supplies categories are dog and cat, aquatics, bird and small animal, wild bird feed and animal health products. The Company markets and produces various brands, including Pennington, The Rebels, AMDRO, Lilly Miller, Ironite, Sevin, and Over-N-Out. Its Garden segment operates a sales and logistics network that strategically supports its brands. The Company’s principal lawn and garden product lines include grass seed, wild bird feed and insect control products.

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.

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