MWI Veterinary Supply (NASDAQ: MWIV) and Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) are both non-cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, institutional ownership, profitabiliy, valuation, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for MWI Veterinary Supply and Cardinal Health, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MWI Veterinary Supply 0 0 0 0 N/A
Cardinal Health 0 12 3 0 2.20

Cardinal Health has a consensus target price of $81.09, indicating a potential upside of 16.95%. Given Cardinal Health’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Cardinal Health is more favorable than MWI Veterinary Supply.

Profitability

This table compares MWI Veterinary Supply and Cardinal Health’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MWI Veterinary Supply 2.51% 15.74% 7.86%
Cardinal Health 0.99% 26.20% 4.81%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.1% of Cardinal Health shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Cardinal Health shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares MWI Veterinary Supply and Cardinal Health’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MWI Veterinary Supply N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Cardinal Health $129.98 billion 0.17 $2.96 billion $4.04 17.16

Cardinal Health has higher revenue and earnings than MWI Veterinary Supply.

Dividends

Cardinal Health pays an annual dividend of $1.85 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. MWI Veterinary Supply does not pay a dividend. Cardinal Health pays out 45.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cardinal Health has raised its dividend for 12 consecutive years.

Summary

Cardinal Health beats MWI Veterinary Supply on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About MWI Veterinary Supply

MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. (MWI) is a distributor of animal health products to veterinarians across the United States of America and United Kingdom. MWI sells both companion animal and production animal products including pharmaceuticals, vaccines, parasiticides, diagnostics, micro feed ingredients, supplies, pet food, capital equipment and nutritional products. MWI also offers customers a variety of value-added services, including its e-commerce platform, technology management systems, pharmacy fulfillment, inventory management system, equipment procurement consultation, special order fulfillment, educational seminars and pet cremation. As of September 30, 2014, the Company operates 23 distribution centers located across the United States and one distribution center in the United Kingdom.

About Cardinal Health

Cardinal Health, Inc. is a healthcare services and products company. The Company operates through two segments: Pharmaceutical and Medical. The Pharmaceutical segment distributes branded and generic pharmaceutical, specialty pharmaceutical, over-the-counter healthcare and consumer products. This segment also operates nuclear pharmacies and cyclotron facilities; provides pharmacy management services to hospitals, as well as medication therapy management and patient outcomes services to hospitals, other healthcare providers and payers, and provides services to healthcare companies. The Medical segment distributes a range of medical, surgical and laboratory products, and provides services to hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and other healthcare providers. This segment also manufactures, sources and develops its own Cardinal Health brand medical and surgical products. It provides post-acute care management and transition services, and software to hospitals.

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