Steelcase (SCS) and Essendant (ESND) Head to Head Comparison

Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) and Essendant (NASDAQ:ESND) are both industrials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, valuation and profitabiliy.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

65.6% of Steelcase shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.7% of Essendant shares are owned by institutional investors. 18.9% of Steelcase shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Essendant shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Steelcase pays an annual dividend of $0.51 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Essendant pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. Steelcase pays out 50.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Essendant pays out -14.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Steelcase has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Essendant is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Volatility and Risk

Steelcase has a beta of 1.18, suggesting that its stock price is 18% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Essendant has a beta of 1.2, suggesting that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Steelcase and Essendant’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Steelcase 3.35% 13.44% 5.81%
Essendant -2.67% 6.81% 2.28%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Steelcase and Essendant’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Steelcase $3.03 billion 0.66 $265.60 million $1.02 16.57
Essendant $5.29 billion 0.11 $159.07 million ($3.87) -3.86

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Steelcase and Essendant, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Steelcase 0 1 0 1 3.00
Essendant 0 2 0 0 2.00

Steelcase currently has a consensus target price of $19.00, suggesting a potential upside of 12.43%. Essendant has a consensus target price of $16.50, suggesting a potential upside of 10.44%. Given Steelcase’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Steelcase is more favorable than Essendant.

Summary

Steelcase beats Essendant on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Steelcase Company Profile

Steelcase Inc. provides an integrated portfolio of furniture settings, user-centered technologies and interior architectural products. The Company’s segments include Americas, EMEA and Other Category. The Company’s furniture portfolio includes panel-based and freestanding furniture systems and complementary products, such as storage, tables and ergonomic worktools. Its seating products include task chairs, which are ergonomic seating that can be used in collaborative or casual settings and specialty seating for specific vertical markets, such as healthcare and education. Its technology solutions support group collaboration by integrating furniture and technology. Its interior architectural products include full and partial height walls and doors. It also offers services, which include workplace strategy consulting, lease origination services, furniture and asset management and hosted spaces. Its family of brands includes Steelcase, Coalesse, Designtex, PolyVision and Turnstone.

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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