Freshpet (NASDAQ: FRPT) and Post (NYSE:POST) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and profitability.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

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73.4% of Freshpet shares are held by institutional investors. 6.8% of Freshpet shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.4% of Post shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Freshpet and Post’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Freshpet $156.38 million 4.17 -$4.26 million ($0.12) -154.58
Post $5.23 billion 1.06 $48.30 million $2.67 30.10

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Freshpet and Post, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Freshpet 0 4 3 0 2.43
Post 0 1 9 0 2.90

Freshpet currently has a consensus price target of $19.67, suggesting a potential upside of 6.02%. Post has a consensus price target of $102.57, suggesting a potential upside of 27.61%. Given Post’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Post is more favorable than Freshpet.

Profitability

This table compares Freshpet and Post’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Freshpet -2.73% -3.85% -3.27%
Post 4.54% 7.90% 2.04%

Risk & Volatility

Freshpet has a beta of 1.69, indicating that its share price is 69% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Post has a beta of -0.08, indicating that its share price is 108% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Post beats Freshpet on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Freshpet Company Profile

Freshpet, Inc. manufactures and markets natural fresh products, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company sells its products under the Freshpet brand; and Dognation and Dog Joy labels through various classes of retail, including grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, and natural, as well as online. Freshpet, Inc. was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Post Company Profile

Post Holdings, Inc. operates as a consumer packaged goods holding company in the United States and internationally. It manufactures and sells ready-to-eat cereal and hot cereal, egg, refrigerated potato, cheese and other dairy case, and pasta products; and markets and distributes ready-to-drink beverages, bars, powders and other nutritional supplements. The company also manufactures peanut butter and other nut butters, baking nuts, dried fruits, and nuts; distributes cereals and snacks; and provides peanut blanching, granulation, and roasting services to the peanut industry. The company markets its products under the trademarks, including Post, Honey Bunches of Oats, Great Grains, Post Shredded Wheat, Spoon Size Shredded Wheat, Golden Crisp, Alpha-Bits, Oh's, Shreddies, Post Raisin Bran, Grape-Nuts, Honeycomb, Frosted Mini Spooners, Golden Puffs, Cinnamon Toasters, Fruity Dyno-Bites, Cocoa Dyno-Bites, Berry Colossal Crunch, Malt-O-Meal, Farina, Dyno-Bites, MOM's Best, Better Oats, CoCo Wheats, Weetabix, Barbara's, Puffins, Snackimals, Attune, Uncle Sam, Erewhon, Willamette Valley Granola Company, Peace Cereal, Sweet Home Farm, Crystal Farms, All Whites, Papetti's, Better'n Eggs, Easy Eggs, Emulsa, Table Ready, Davidson's Safest Choice, Abbotsford Farms, Simply Potatoes, Diner's Choice, Crescent Valley, Westfield Farms, David's Deli; Premier Protein, Joint Juice, Dymatize, ISO.100, Supreme Protein, PowerBar, Golden Boy, Golden Organics, Country Orchard, Weetabix, Alpen, Weetos, Ready Brek, Weetabix On the Go, and Oatbix. It sells products to grocery, mass merchandise, supercenters, club store, and drug store customers; military, e-commerce, and foodservice channels; foodservice distributors, restaurant chains, retail grocery stores, and food manufacturers and processors; and foodservice and food ingredient customers through internal sales staff, broker organizations, and direct sales forces. The company was founded in 1895 and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

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