SunOpta (NASDAQ: STKL) and General Mills (NYSE:GIS) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, profitability, dividends, valuation and institutional ownership.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares SunOpta and General Mills’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SunOpta $1.31 billion 0.57 $70.04 million ($0.64) -13.44
General Mills $15.62 billion 1.98 $3.41 billion $2.77 19.39

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

Volatility and Risk

SunOpta has a beta of 1.77, indicating that its share price is 77% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, General Mills has a beta of 0.62, indicating that its share price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for SunOpta and General Mills, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SunOpta 0 2 3 0 2.60
General Mills 4 11 1 0 1.81

SunOpta presently has a consensus price target of $8.88, suggesting a potential upside of 3.20%. General Mills has a consensus price target of $59.15, suggesting a potential upside of 10.12%. Given General Mills’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe General Mills is more favorable than SunOpta.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

79.3% of SunOpta shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.5% of General Mills shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.9% of SunOpta shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.4% of General Mills shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares SunOpta and General Mills’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SunOpta -3.70% -0.70% -0.23%
General Mills 10.61% 38.97% 8.47%

Dividends

General Mills pays an annual dividend of $1.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. SunOpta does not pay a dividend. General Mills pays out 70.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. SunOpta has increased its dividend for 13 consecutive years.

Summary

General Mills beats SunOpta on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

SunOpta Company Profile

Sunopta Inc is a Canada-based company, which operates businesses focused on a healthy products portfolio. It operates through the following segments: Global Ingredients and Consumer Products. The Global Ingredients segment aggregates its North American and international raw material sourcing and supply operating segments focused on the procurement, processing and sale of specialty and organic grains, seeds, fruits, grain- and cocoa-based ingredients, and other commodities. The Consumer Products segment provides healthy and organic food products that are consumer-packaged to retailers, foodservice distributors and food manufacturers with a range of branded and private label products. It is focused on sourcing non-genetically modified (non-GMO) and organic ingredients, and manufacturing healthy food and beverage products. It manufactures packaged products focused on the healthy beverage, healthy fruit and healthy snack categories.

General Mills Company Profile

General Mills, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. The Company is a supplier of branded and unbranded food products to the North American foodservice and commercial baking industries. The Company has three segments: U.S. Retail, International, and Convenience Stores and Foodservice. Its products are marketed under various brands, which include Annie’s and Betty Crocker. The Company’s U.S. Retail segment reflects business with a range of grocery stores, mass merchandisers, membership stores, natural food chains, drug, dollar and discount chains, and e-commerce grocery providers operating throughout the United States. The International segment consists of retail and foodservice businesses outside of the United States. The Convenience Stores and Foodservice segment’s product categories include ready-to-eat cereals, snacks, refrigerated yogurt, frozen meals, unbaked and fully baked frozen dough products, and baking mixes.

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