Deluxe Corporation (NYSE: DLX) and Multi-Color Corporation (NASDAQ:LABL) are both business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

91.4% of Deluxe Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.6% of Multi-Color Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.4% of Deluxe Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 19.4% of Multi-Color Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Deluxe Corporation and Multi-Color Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Deluxe Corporation 0 0 0 0 N/A
Multi-Color Corporation 1 3 0 0 1.75

Multi-Color Corporation has a consensus price target of $75.67, indicating a potential downside of 3.12%. Given Multi-Color Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Multi-Color Corporation is more favorable than Deluxe Corporation.

Dividends

Deluxe Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Multi-Color Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Deluxe Corporation pays out 25.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Multi-Color Corporation pays out 5.8% 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.

Profitability

This table compares Deluxe Corporation and Multi-Color Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Deluxe Corporation 11.98% 27.83% 11.83%
Multi-Color Corporation 6.38% 15.85% 5.57%

Volatility & Risk

Deluxe Corporation has a beta of 1.35, indicating that its stock price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Multi-Color Corporation has a beta of 0.83, indicating that its stock price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Deluxe Corporation and Multi-Color Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Deluxe Corporation $1.91 billion 1.71 $453.00 million $4.68 14.44
Multi-Color Corporation $929.24 million 1.43 $158.28 million $3.47 22.51

Deluxe Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Multi-Color Corporation. Deluxe Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Multi-Color Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Deluxe Corporation beats Multi-Color Corporation on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Deluxe Corporation

Deluxe Corporation is a provider of payment solutions. The Company provides a suite of customer life cycle management solutions to its customers across multiple channels. The Company operates in three segments: Small Business Services segment, Financial Services segment and Direct Checks segment. The Company’s product and service offerings consist of checks, forms and accessories, and other products. The forms offered by the Company include deposit tickets and check registers. Its accessories and other products include checkbook covers and stamps. The Small Business Services segment is a provider of printed forms to small businesses. The Financial Services segment provides products and services to financial institution clients and offers a suite of financial technology (FinTech) solutions. The Direct Checks segment is a direct-to-consumer check supplier. It also offers fraud protection and security services, online and offline payroll services, and electronic checks (e-checks).

About Multi-Color Corporation

Multi-Color Corporation (Multi-Color) is engaged in label solutions business, supporting brands, including producers of home and personal care, wine and spirit, food and beverage, healthcare and specialty consumer products. The Company serves international brand owners in North, Central and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and China and Southeast Asia with a range of label technologies in Pressure Sensitive, Glue-Applied (Cut and Stack), In-Mold, Shrink Sleeve and Heat Transfer. The Company also provides a range of print methods, including flexographic, lithographic, rotogravure, letterpress and digital, and in-house prepress services. The Company provides graphics and pre-press services for its customers at all of its manufacturing locations. These services include the conversion of customer digital files and artwork into proofs, production of print layouts and printing plates, and product mock ups and samples for market research.

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