Acco Brands Corporation (NYSE: ACCO) and Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Dividends

Essendant pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. Acco Brands Corporation does not pay a dividend. Essendant pays out -13.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Acco Brands Corporation and Essendant’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Acco Brands Corporation 3.25% 15.03% 4.39%
Essendant -2.87% 5.75% 1.93%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Acco Brands Corporation and Essendant’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Acco Brands Corporation $1.72 billion 0.72 $256.30 million $0.51 22.26
Essendant $5.19 billion 0.09 $147.50 million ($4.08) -3.08

Acco Brands Corporation has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Essendant. Essendant is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Acco Brands Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Acco Brands Corporation has a beta of 1.37, indicating that its share price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Essendant has a beta of 1.17, indicating that its share price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Acco Brands Corporation and Essendant, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Acco Brands Corporation 0 0 1 0 3.00
Essendant 0 2 0 0 2.00

Acco Brands Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $18.00, suggesting a potential upside of 58.59%. Essendant has a consensus price target of $16.50, suggesting a potential upside of 31.47%. Given Acco Brands Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Acco Brands Corporation is more favorable than Essendant.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

91.1% of Acco Brands Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.2% of Essendant shares are held by institutional investors. 4.5% of Acco Brands Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Essendant shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Acco Brands Corporation beats Essendant on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Acco Brands Corporation Company Profile

ACCO Brands Corporation is engaged in designing, marketing and manufacturing of branded business, academic and selected consumer products. The Company operates through three segments: ACCO Brands North America, ACCO Brands International and Computer Products Group. The Company’s brands include Artline, AT-A-GLANCE, Derwent, Esselte, Five Star, GBC, Hilroy, Kensington, Leitz, Marbig, Mead, NOBO, Quartet, Rapid, Rexel, Swingline, Tilibra and Wilson Jones. The Company’s ACCO Brands North America and ACCO Brands International design, market, source, manufacture and sell traditional office products, academic supplies and calendar products. ACCO Brands North America consists of the United States and Canada, and ACCO Brands International consists of the rest of the world, primarily Northern Europe, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. Its Computer Products Group designs, sources, distributes, markets and sells accessories for laptop and desktop computers and tablets.

Essendant Company Profile

Essendant Inc. (Essendant) is a wholesale distributor of workplace items. The Company’s product portfolio includes Janitorial, Foodservice and Breakroom Supplies (JanSan), Technology Products, Traditional Office Products, Industrial Supplies, Cut Sheet Paper Products, Automotive Products and Office Furniture. It operates principally within the United States, with additional operations in Canada and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided access to over 22,000 items in these lines: janitorial supplies (cleaners and cleaning accessories), breakroom items (food and beverage products), foodservice consumables (such as disposable cups, plates and utensils), safety and security items, and paper and packaging supplies. As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided access to approximately 11,000 items, including imaging supplies, data storage, digital cameras, computer accessories and computer hardware items, such as printers and other peripherals.

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