Lifeway Foods (NASDAQ: LWAY) and Synutra International (NASDAQ:SYUT) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, risk, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, earnings and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Lifeway Foods and Synutra International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lifeway Foods 2.16% 5.55% 3.96%
Synutra International 4.71% 15.06% 2.55%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Lifeway Foods and Synutra International’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lifeway Foods $123.43 million 1.23 $7.70 million $0.17 55.18
Synutra International N/A N/A N/A $0.14 43.07

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

Volatility & Risk

Lifeway Foods has a beta of 0.61, suggesting that its stock price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Synutra International has a beta of 1.67, suggesting that its stock price is 67% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

17.3% of Lifeway Foods shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 14.4% of Synutra International shares are held by institutional investors. 49.8% of Lifeway Foods shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 63.5% of Synutra International shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Lifeway Foods and Synutra International, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lifeway Foods 0 0 1 0 3.00
Synutra International 0 0 0 0 N/A

Lifeway Foods currently has a consensus price target of $17.00, indicating a potential upside of 81.24%. Given Lifeway Foods’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Lifeway Foods is more favorable than Synutra International.

Summary

Lifeway Foods beats Synutra International on 6 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lifeway Foods Company Profile

Lifeway Foods, Inc. (Lifeway) is engaged in the manufacturing of probiotic, cultured, functional dairy health food products. The Company is engaged in the sale of fermented dairy products, which are produced and are sold to consumers through a network of distributors and retailers in the United States. Through its distributors, the Company also sells its products to retailers in Mexico, Costa Rica, Dubai, Hong Kong, China and the Caribbean. The Company’s primary product is kefir, a dairy beverage similar to but distinct from yogurt, in various flavors and in various package configurations. In addition to the drinkable products, Lifeway manufactures Lifeway Farmer Cheese, a line of various farmer cheeses. Kefir also serves as a base for lower-calorie dressings, dips, marinades, soups or sauces and as a basic ingredient in other home-prepared foods. Recipes are made available through the Company’s Website. The Company also markets and sells its ProBugs line of drinkable kefir.

Synutra International Company Profile

Synutra International, Inc. is an infant formula company in China. The Company is engaged in the production, distribution and sale of dairy-based nutritional products under the Shengyuan or Synutra line of brands. The Company operates through three segments: Nutritional Food, which includes the sale of powdered infant and adult formula products, with brands, including Super, My Angel and Dutch Cow, as well as the sale of prepared foods under the brand of Huiliduo; Nutritional Supplement, which includes the production and sale of nutritional supplements, such as chondroitin sulfate to third-parties and microencapsulated Docosahexanoic Acid and Arachidonic Acid to the nutritional food segment for use in powdered formula production, and Other Business, which includes non-core businesses, such as ancillary sales of excess or unusable ingredients and materials to industrial customers; provision of genetic diagnostic services for new born babies, and sales of cosmetics to pregnant women.

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