Contrasting UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) and Weight Watchers International (NYSE:WW)

UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) and Weight Watchers International (NASDAQ:WW) are both industrial products companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for UniFirst and Weight Watchers International, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
UniFirst 0 1 1 0 2.50
Weight Watchers International 2 1 0 0 1.33

UniFirst currently has a consensus price target of $152.00, suggesting a potential downside of 8.76%. Weight Watchers International has a consensus price target of $19.00, suggesting a potential upside of 1.28%. Given Weight Watchers International’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Weight Watchers International is more favorable than UniFirst.

Volatility and Risk

UniFirst has a beta of 0.63, indicating that its share price is 37% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Weight Watchers International has a beta of 2.38, indicating that its share price is 138% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares UniFirst and Weight Watchers International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
UniFirst 8.73% 8.89% 7.14%
Weight Watchers International 11.84% -20.48% 12.29%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares UniFirst and Weight Watchers International’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
UniFirst $1.70 billion 1.87 $163.89 million $7.45 22.36
Weight Watchers International $1.51 billion 0.83 $223.75 million $3.19 5.88

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


UniFirst pays an annual dividend of $0.45 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Weight Watchers International does not pay a dividend. UniFirst pays out 6.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

77.1% of UniFirst shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.1% of Weight Watchers International shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of UniFirst shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 12.0% of Weight Watchers International shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

About UniFirst

UniFirst Corporation provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company operates through U.S. Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing, Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning, and First Aid segments. It designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, and aprons; and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. The company also rents and sells industrial wiping products, floor mats, facility service products, and dry and wet mops; restroom and cleaning supplies comprising air fresheners, paper products, and hand soaps; and other textile products. In addition, it provides first aid cabinet services and other safety supplies; decontaminates and cleans work clothes, and other items that might expose to radioactive materials; and services special cleanroom protective wear and facilities. Further, it offers a range of garment service options, including full-service rental programs in which garments are cleaned and serviced; lease programs in which garments are cleaned and maintained by individual employees; and purchase programs to buy garments and related items directly. The company serves automobile service centers and dealers, delivery services, food and general merchandise retailers, food processors and service operations, light manufacturers, maintenance facilities, restaurants, service companies, soft and durable goods wholesalers, transportation companies, government agencies, research and development laboratories, high technology companies, and utilities operating nuclear reactors, as well as others who require employee clothing for image, identification, protection, or utility purposes. UniFirst Corporation was founded in 1936 and is based in Wilmington, Massachusetts.

About Weight Watchers International

Weight Watchers International, Inc. provides weight management services worldwide. The company operates in four segments: North America, Continental Europe, United Kingdom, and Other. It provides a range of products and services comprising nutritional, activity, behavioral, and lifestyle tools and approaches. The company offers various digital subscription products to wellness and weight management business, which provide interactive and personalized resources that allow users to follow its weight management program via its Web-based and mobile app products, including personal coaching products; and allows members to support each other by sharing their experiences with other people on weight management and wellness journeys. Further, it provides various products, including bars, snacks, cookbooks, kitchen tools, and other products. Additionally, the company licenses its trademarks and other intellectual property in food, beverages, and other consumer products and services. It offers products through its e-commerce platform, magazine subscriptions, publishing, and third-party advertising in publications; and through Websites and sales from the By Mail product. The company was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

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