Spectrum Brands (NYSE: SPB) and General Cable (NYSE:BGC) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

Spectrum Brands has a beta of 0.69, indicating that its share price is 31% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, General Cable has a beta of 2.76, indicating that its share price is 176% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Spectrum Brands and General Cable’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Spectrum Brands $5.01 billion 1.24 $295.80 million $6.71 15.98
General Cable $3.86 billion 0.39 -$93.80 million ($3.56) -8.27

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

Profitability

This table compares Spectrum Brands and General Cable’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Spectrum Brands 8.80% 14.79% 3.68%
General Cable -4.71% 43.57% 2.85%

Dividends

Spectrum Brands pays an annual dividend of $1.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. General Cable pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Spectrum Brands pays out 25.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. General Cable pays out -20.2% 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. Spectrum Brands has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years. General Cable is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

47.7% of Spectrum Brands shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.4% of General Cable shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Spectrum Brands shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.8% of General Cable shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Spectrum Brands and General Cable, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Spectrum Brands 0 1 10 0 2.91
General Cable 0 0 0 0 N/A

Spectrum Brands currently has a consensus target price of $142.78, indicating a potential upside of 33.15%. Given Spectrum Brands’ higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Spectrum Brands is more favorable than General Cable.

Summary

Spectrum Brands beats General Cable on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Spectrum Brands

Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (SB Holdings) is a diversified global consumer products company. The Company manufactures, markets and/or distributes its products in approximately 160 countries in the North America (NA); Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Latin America (LATAM), and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions. It has five segments: Global Batteries & Appliances (GBA), Global Pet Supplies (PET), Home and Garden (H&G), Hardware & Home Improvement (HHI) and Global Auto Care (GAC). The Company’s GBA segment includes product categories, such as consumer batteries, small appliances and personal care. The Company’s HHI segment includes product categories, such as lockset, plumbing and hardware. The Company’s PET segment’s product categories include aquatics, companion animal and pet food. The Company’s H&G segment’s product categories include controls, household and repellents. The Company’s GAC segment’s product categories include appearance, performance and A/C recharge.

About General Cable

General Cable Corporation is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for use in the energy, industrial, construction, specialty and communications markets. The Company’s segments include North America, Europe, Latin America, and Africa/Asia Pacific. The Company produces and sells to a range of end markets, including markets for electric utility, electrical infrastructure, communications, construction and rod mill products. As of December 31, 2016, the North America segment included 17 manufacturing facilities across the region. The Europe segment consists of six manufacturing facilities across the region. The Latin America segment consists of six manufacturing facilities across the region. The Africa/Asia Pacific segment consists of four manufacturing facilities across the segment.

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