Financial Review: Greif (GEF.B) vs. WestRock (WRK)

Greif (NYSE:GEF.B) and WestRock (NYSE:WRK) are both industrial products companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

Greif has a beta of 1.14, suggesting that its stock price is 14% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, WestRock has a beta of 1.58, suggesting that its stock price is 58% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Greif and WestRock, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Greif 0 0 0 0 N/A
WestRock 0 4 7 0 2.64

WestRock has a consensus target price of $63.64, suggesting a potential upside of 40.42%. Given WestRock’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe WestRock is more favorable than Greif.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Greif and WestRock’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Greif $3.64 billion 0.71 $118.60 million N/A N/A
WestRock $16.29 billion 0.71 $1.91 billion $4.09 11.08

WestRock has higher revenue and earnings than Greif.


Greif pays an annual dividend of $2.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.9%. WestRock pays an annual dividend of $1.82 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.0%. WestRock pays out 44.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. WestRock has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

5.7% of Greif shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 82.4% of WestRock shares are owned by institutional investors. 16.2% of Greif shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.7% of WestRock 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.


This table compares Greif and WestRock’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Greif 5.26% 17.84% 6.03%
WestRock 11.70% 9.26% 4.20%


WestRock beats Greif on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Greif Company Profile

Greif, Inc. is a producer of industrial packaging products and services. The Company’s segments are Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services; Paper Packaging & Services; Flexible Products & Services, and Land Management. The Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services segment is engaged in the production and sale of rigid industrial packaging products, and services, such as container life cycle management, filling, logistics, warehousing and other packaging services. The Paper Packaging & Services segment is engaged in the production and sale of containerboard, corrugated sheets, corrugated containers and other corrugated products. The Flexible Products & Services segment is engaged in the production and sale of flexible intermediate bulk containers and related services on a global basis. The Land Management segment is involved in the management and sale of timber. As of October 31, 2016, the Company had operations in over 45 countries.

WestRock Company Profile

WestRock Company manufactures and sells paper and packaging solutions for the consumer and corrugated markets in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company operates through three segments: Corrugated Packaging, Consumer Packaging, and Land and Development. The Corrugated Packaging segment produces containerboards, corrugated sheets, corrugated packaging, and preprinted linerboards for consumer and industrial products manufacturers, and corrugated box manufacturers. This segment also provides structural and graphic design, engineering services, and automated packaging machines; resells other products; and offers recycling and waste disposal services. Its corrugated packaging products are used to provide protective packaging for the shipment and distribution of food, paper, health and beauty, other household, consumer, commercial, and industrial products. The Consumer Packaging segment manufactures and sells folding and beverage cartons, displays, dispensing, and interior partitions; paperboards; recycled paperboards; express mail packages for the overnight courier industry; and secondary packages and paperboard packaging for the healthcare market. This segment also manufactures and sells solid fiber and corrugated partitions and die-cut paperboard components; temporary and permanent point-of-purchase displays for the consumer products and retail markets; lithographic laminated packaging products; and plastic packaging products, as well as provides contract packing services. The Land and Development segment engages in real estate development activities, primarily in Charleston, South Carolina. WestRock Company is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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