Critical Survey: Darling Ingredients (DAR) versus Dean Foods (DF)

Darling Ingredients (NYSE: DAR) and Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, dividends and institutional ownership.


Dean Foods pays an annual dividend of $0.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.9%. Darling Ingredients does not pay a dividend. Dean Foods pays out 53.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

100.0% of Darling Ingredients shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.4% of Dean Foods shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Darling Ingredients shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Dean Foods shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Darling Ingredients and Dean Foods’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Darling Ingredients $3.66 billion 0.82 $128.46 million $0.77 23.55
Dean Foods $7.80 billion 0.11 $61.58 million $0.67 13.66

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

Volatility & Risk

Darling Ingredients has a beta of 1.43, suggesting that its stock price is 43% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Dean Foods has a beta of 0.53, suggesting that its stock price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Darling Ingredients and Dean Foods’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Darling Ingredients 3.50% 1.82% 0.82%
Dean Foods 0.79% 11.80% 2.90%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Darling Ingredients and Dean Foods, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Darling Ingredients 0 3 3 0 2.50
Dean Foods 2 7 2 0 2.00

Darling Ingredients presently has a consensus price target of $19.50, suggesting a potential upside of 7.56%. Dean Foods has a consensus price target of $12.06, suggesting a potential upside of 31.75%. Given Dean Foods’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Dean Foods is more favorable than Darling Ingredients.


Darling Ingredients beats Dean Foods on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Darling Ingredients Company Profile

Darling Ingredients Inc. (Darling) is a developer and producer of sustainable natural ingredients from edible and inedible bio-nutrients, creating a range of ingredients and customized specialty solutions for customers in the pharmaceutical, food, pet food, feed, industrial, fuel, bioenergy and fertilizer industries. The Company operates through three segments: Feed Ingredients, Food Ingredients and Fuel Ingredients. The Company collects and transforms all aspects of animal by-product streams into useable and specialty ingredients, such as gelatin, edible fats, feed-grade fats, animal proteins and meals, plasma, pet food ingredients, organic fertilizers, yellow grease, fuel feedstocks, green energy, natural casings and hides. In addition, the Company provides grease trap services to food service establishments, environmental services to food processors and sells restaurant cooking oil delivery and collection equipment.

Dean Foods Company Profile

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States. It also offers juices, teas and bottled water. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had over 50 national, regional and local dairy brands, as well as private labels. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s national, local and regional licensed brands included Alta Dena, Hygeia, PET, Arctic Splash, Jilbert, Pog, Barbers Dairy, Purity, Berkeley Farms, Land-O-Sun & design and ReadyLeaf, Broughton.

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