Blue Apron Holdings (NASDAQ: APRN) and Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) are both small-cap food processing – nec companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

96.6% of Dean Foods shares are held by institutional investors. 1.2% of Dean Foods shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Blue Apron Holdings and Dean Foods’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Blue Apron Holdings N/A N/A N/A ($1.05) -2.90
Dean Foods $7.71 billion 0.11 $119.92 million $0.46 20.89

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


Dean Foods pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. Blue Apron Holdings does not pay a dividend. Dean Foods pays out 78.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Blue Apron Holdings and Dean Foods, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Blue Apron Holdings 2 9 4 0 2.13
Dean Foods 2 6 3 0 2.09

Blue Apron Holdings currently has a consensus target price of $7.12, indicating a potential upside of 133.67%. Dean Foods has a consensus target price of $13.06, indicating a potential upside of 35.85%. Given Blue Apron Holdings’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Blue Apron Holdings is more favorable than Dean Foods.


This table compares Blue Apron Holdings and Dean Foods’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Blue Apron Holdings -13.29% N/A -37.22%
Dean Foods 0.53% 14.04% 3.35%


Dean Foods beats Blue Apron Holdings on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Blue Apron Holdings

Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is focused on providing recipes and fresh ingredients for making home cooking accessible. The Company offers under a novel business model in which it source, process, store and package meal ingredients and ship them directly to consumers. The Company’s core products include Meals and Wine. Meals product, which offers two meal plans, such as two person plan and family plan. Two person plan, which includes three recipes per week (chosen from six options), each of which serves two people and shipping is free. The Company provides original recipes with the pre-portioned ingredients to complement tastes and lifestyles of college graduates, young couples, families, singles, and empty nesters.

About Dean Foods

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States. It also offers juices, teas and bottled water. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had over 50 national, regional and local dairy brands, as well as private labels. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s national, local and regional licensed brands included Alta Dena, Hygeia, PET, Arctic Splash, Jilbert, Pog, Barbers Dairy, Purity, Berkeley Farms, Land-O-Sun & design and ReadyLeaf, Broughton.

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