Carter’s (NYSE: CRI) and Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ:COLM) are both mid-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, risk, institutional ownership, dividends and valuation.

Dividends

Carter’s pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Columbia Sportswear pays an annual dividend of $0.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Carter’s pays out 31.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Columbia Sportswear pays out 29.5% 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. Carter’s has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years. Carter’s is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Volatility & Risk

Carter’s has a beta of 0.42, suggesting that its stock price is 58% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Columbia Sportswear has a beta of 0.89, suggesting that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Carter’s and Columbia Sportswear, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Carter’s 0 2 9 0 2.82
Columbia Sportswear 0 7 9 0 2.56

Carter’s currently has a consensus price target of $120.27, indicating a potential upside of 11.22%. Columbia Sportswear has a consensus price target of $83.20, indicating a potential downside of 9.24%. Given Carter’s’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Carter’s is more favorable than Columbia Sportswear.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

99.3% of Carter’s shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 38.6% of Columbia Sportswear shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.3% of Carter’s shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 56.7% of Columbia Sportswear shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Carter’s and Columbia Sportswear’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Carter’s $3.40 billion 1.49 $302.76 million $5.76 18.77
Columbia Sportswear $2.47 billion 2.60 $105.12 million $2.98 30.76

Carter’s has higher revenue and earnings than Columbia Sportswear. Carter’s is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Columbia Sportswear, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Carter’s and Columbia Sportswear’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Carter’s 8.72% 35.09% 13.87%
Columbia Sportswear 4.52% 13.58% 10.49%

Summary

Carter’s beats Columbia Sportswear on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Carter’s

Carter's, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, sources, and markets branded childrenswear under the Carter's, Child of Mine, Just One You, Precious Firsts, Simple Joys, OshKosh, Skip Hop, and other brands. The company operates through three segments: U.S. Retail, U.S. Wholesale, and International. Its Carter's products include baby products, such as bodysuits, pants, dresses, multi-piece sets, blankets, layette essentials, bibs, and booties; play clothes products comprising knit and woven cotton apparel; sleepwear products consisting of pajamas in cotton, fleece, and ploy-jersey; and other products, including bedding, outerwear, swimwear, footwear, socks, diaper bags, gift sets, toys, jewelry, cribs, paper goods, and hair accessories. The company's OshKosh brand products comprise playclothes products that include denim, overalls, woven bottoms, knit tops, bodysuits, and other playclothes for sizes newborn to 14. It also offers baby, sleepwear, outerwear, footwear, hosiery, and accessories under the OshKosh brand. The company distributes its products through department stores, chain and specialty stores, and discount retailers, as well as company-operated stores, and Websites. As of December 30, 2017, it operated 466 Carter's and 131 OshKosh stand-alone stores in the United States; 159 side-by-side and 74 co-branded stores in the United States; and 179 co-branded stores in Canada. The company was founded in 1865 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

About Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear Company, together with its subsidiaries, designs, sources, markets, and distributes outdoor and active lifestyle apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment in the United States, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Canada. The company provides apparel, accessories, and equipment that are used various outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, camping, hunting, fishing, trail running, water sports, yoga, golf, and adventure travel for men and women under the Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, SOREL, and prAna brands, as well as for youth under the Columbia brand name. It also offers footwear products, including hiking boots, trail running shoes, rugged cold weather boots, sandals, and casual shoes for men, women, and youth under the Columbia and SOREL brands. The company sells its products through wholesale distribution channels, direct-to-consumer channels, independent distributors, and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through its network of branded and outlet retail stores, and online. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 105 outlet retail stores and 24 branded retail stores in the United States; 119 concession-based, branded, outlet, and shop-in-shop locations in Japan; 162 concession-based, branded, outlet, and shop-in-shop locations in Korea; 24 outlet, shop-in-shop and concession-based locations, as well as 1 branded retail store in various locations in Western Europe; and 6 outlet retail stores in Canada. The company was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Receive News & Ratings for Carter's Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Carter's and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.