Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) and Cott Corp (NYSE:COT) are both business services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations and risk.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

64.1% of Steelcase shares are held by institutional investors. 18.9% of Steelcase shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.1% of Cott Corp shares are held by 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 Steelcase and Cott Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Steelcase 4.04% 16.37% 7.17%
Cott Corp -2.20% -11.88% -2.10%

Dividends

Steelcase pays an annual dividend of $0.51 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.8%. Cott Corp pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Steelcase pays out 50.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cott Corp pays out -23.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Steelcase has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Steelcase is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Steelcase and Cott Corp’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Steelcase $3.05 billion 0.51 $261.10 million $1.01 13.17
Cott Corp $3.68 billion 0.57 $377.00 million ($1.03) -14.74

Cott Corp has higher revenue and earnings than Steelcase. Cott Corp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Steelcase, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Steelcase and Cott Corp, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Steelcase 0 1 1 0 2.50
Cott Corp 0 2 4 0 2.67

Steelcase presently has a consensus price target of $16.00, suggesting a potential upside of 20.30%. Cott Corp has a consensus price target of $17.04, suggesting a potential upside of 12.26%. Given Steelcase’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Steelcase is more favorable than Cott Corp.

Risk and Volatility

Steelcase has a beta of 1.2, indicating that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cott Corp has a beta of 0.78, indicating that its stock price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Steelcase beats Cott Corp on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Steelcase

Steelcase Inc. provides an integrated portfolio of furniture settings, user-centered technologies and interior architectural products. The Company’s segments include Americas, EMEA and Other Category. The Company’s furniture portfolio includes panel-based and freestanding furniture systems and complementary products, such as storage, tables and ergonomic worktools. Its seating products include task chairs, which are ergonomic seating that can be used in collaborative or casual settings and specialty seating for specific vertical markets, such as healthcare and education. Its technology solutions support group collaboration by integrating furniture and technology. Its interior architectural products include full and partial height walls and doors. It also offers services, which include workplace strategy consulting, lease origination services, furniture and asset management and hosted spaces. Its family of brands includes Steelcase, Coalesse, Designtex, PolyVision and Turnstone.

About Cott Corp

Cott Corp is a Canada-based company, which along with its subsidiaries, is engaged in production of beverages on behalf of retailers, brand owners and distributors. The Company operates through five operating segments: Water & Coffee Solutions; Cott North America; Cott United Kingdom (Cott U.K.), Royal Crown International (RCI) and Mexico. Water & Coffee Solutions segment provides direct-to-consumer products, such as bottled water, coffee, brewed tea, water dispensers, coffee and tea brewers, and filtration equipment. Its traditional business consists of its Cott North America, Cott U.K. and All Other segments. Its traditional business produces products, including carbonated soft drinks, shelf stable juice and juice-based products, clear, still and sparkling flavored waters, energy drinks and shots, sports drinks, new age beverages, ready-to liquid enhancers, freezables, hot chocolate, creamers/whiteners, cereals and beverage concentrates directly or through third-party manufacturers.

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