Ingredion (NYSE: INGR) and Inventure Foods (NASDAQ:SNAK) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, profitability, dividends, risk, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Ingredion and Inventure Foods’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ingredion 8.35% 20.84% 9.53%
Inventure Foods -19.06% -38.89% -5.30%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ingredion and Inventure Foods’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ingredion $5.80 billion 1.53 $1.05 billion $6.65 18.55
Inventure Foods $255.01 million 0.26 $3.31 million ($2.24) -1.50

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Ingredion and Inventure Foods, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ingredion 0 3 2 0 2.40
Inventure Foods 0 1 0 0 2.00

Ingredion currently has a consensus target price of $141.67, indicating a potential upside of 14.84%. Inventure Foods has a consensus target price of $8.00, indicating a potential upside of 138.81%. Given Inventure Foods’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Inventure Foods is more favorable than Ingredion.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

84.3% of Ingredion shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.8% of Inventure Foods shares are held by institutional investors. 1.9% of Ingredion shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.4% of Inventure Foods shares are held by company 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.

Dividends

Ingredion pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Inventure Foods does not pay a dividend. Ingredion pays out 30.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ingredion has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

Ingredion has a beta of 0.6, meaning that its share price is 40% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Inventure Foods has a beta of 0.75, meaning that its share price is 25% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Ingredion beats Inventure Foods on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ingredion

Ingredion Incorporated is an ingredients solutions provider. The Company manufactures and sells sweetener, starches, nutrition ingredients and biomaterial solutions derived from the wet milling and processing of corn and other starch-based materials to a range of industries, both domestically and internationally. It operates through four segments: North America, South America, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). It turns corn, tapioca, potatoes, and other vegetables and fruits into ingredients and biomaterials for the food, beverage, paper and corrugating, brewing and other industries. Its product line includes animal feed products and edible corn oil. Its sweetener products include glucose syrups, high maltose syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), caramel color, dextrose, polyols, maltodextrins and glucose and syrup solids. Its starch-based products include both food-grade and industrial starches, and biomaterials. It also offers specialty ingredients.

About Inventure Foods

Inventure Foods, Inc. is a marketer and manufacturer of healthy/natural and indulgent specialty snack food brands. The Company operates in two segments: frozen products and snack products. The frozen products segment produces frozen fruits, vegetables, beverages and frozen desserts for sale primarily to groceries, club stores and mass merchandisers. The snack products segment produces potato chips, kettle chips, potato crisps, potato skins, pellet snacks, sheeted dough products and extruded products for sale primarily to snack food distributors and retailers. The products sold under its snack products segment includes products considered part of the indulgent specialty snack food category, as well as products considered part of the healthy/natural food category. Its Frozen Products segment’s brands include Rader Farms and Jamba. Its Snack Products segment’s brands include Boulder Canyon, Nathan’s Famous, T.G.I. Friday’s, Poore Brothers, Bob’s Texas Style and Vidalia.

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