Contrasting Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) & Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NGVC)

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE: NGVC) and Vitamin Shoppe (NYSE:VSI) are both small-cap retail/wholesale companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitabiliy, valuation, risk, dividends and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and Vitamin Shoppe, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage 0 5 1 0 2.17
Vitamin Shoppe 1 5 0 0 1.83

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage currently has a consensus target price of $11.60, suggesting a potential upside of 93.33%. Vitamin Shoppe has a consensus target price of $20.40, suggesting a potential upside of 112.50%. Given Vitamin Shoppe’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Vitamin Shoppe is more favorable than Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and Vitamin Shoppe’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage $736.10 million 0.18 $44.65 million $0.32 18.75
Vitamin Shoppe $1.27 billion 0.18 $108.63 million $0.78 12.31

Vitamin Shoppe has higher revenue and earnings than Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. Vitamin Shoppe is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vitamin Shoppe has a beta of 0.68, indicating that its share price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and Vitamin Shoppe’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage 0.95% 5.50% 2.46%
Vitamin Shoppe 1.43% 9.35% 5.73%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

33.0% of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage shares are owned by institutional investors. 60.0% of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Vitamin Shoppe shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Company Profile

Natural Grocers By Vitamin Cottage Inc. (Natural Grocers) is a specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries and dietary supplements. The Company sells natural and organic groceries and dietary supplements. The Company’s grocery products include: bulk food and private label products, dry, frozen and canned groceries, meats and seafood, dairy products and dairy substitutes, prepared foods, bread and baked goods, and beverages. Natural Grocers’ other products include body care, pet care, household and general merchandise, and books and handouts. The Company’s 107,000 square foot bulk food repackaging facility and distribution center is in Golden, Colorado. The Company stock approximately 400 titles in its book department. Titles cover various approaches to diet, lifestyle and health. The Company’s subsidiaries include Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets, Inc. and Vitamin Cottage Two Ltd. Liability Company and Natural Systems, LLC.

Vitamin Shoppe Company Profile

Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. (VSI) is a multi-channel specialty retailer and contract manufacturer of vitamins, minerals, herbs, specialty supplements, sports nutrition, and other health and wellness products. The Company operates through three segments: retail, direct and manufacturing. The retail segment includes Vitamin Shoppe, Super Supplements and Vitapath retail store formats. The direct segment sells its products directly to consumers through the Internet, primarily at www.vitaminshoppe.com. The manufacturing segment provides custom manufacturing and private labeling of vitamin, mineral and supplement products, and develops and markets its own branded products for both sales to third parties and for the VSI product assortment. As of December 31, 2016, it marketed approximately 900 brands, as well as its own brands. As of December 31, 2016, it operated 775 stores located in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, primarily located in retail centers and standalone locations.

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