Critical Comparison: Penford Corp (PENX) versus SunOpta (STKL)

Penford Corp (NASDAQ: PENX) and SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) are both non-cyclical consumer goods & services companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

81.9% of SunOpta shares are held by institutional investors. 1.9% of SunOpta shares are held 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.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Penford Corp and SunOpta’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Penford Corp N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
SunOpta $1.31 billion 0.61 $70.04 million ($0.64) -14.45

SunOpta has higher revenue and earnings than Penford Corp.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Penford Corp and SunOpta, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Penford Corp 0 0 0 0 N/A
SunOpta 0 2 3 0 2.60

SunOpta has a consensus target price of $8.88, suggesting a potential downside of 4.05%. Given SunOpta’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe SunOpta is more favorable than Penford Corp.


This table compares Penford Corp and SunOpta’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Penford Corp 2.06% 8.92% 3.56%
SunOpta -3.70% -0.70% -0.23%


SunOpta beats Penford Corp on 5 of the 8 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Penford Corp

Penford Corporation (Penford) is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of natural-based ingredient systems for food and industrial applications, including fuel grade ethanol. The Company has research and development capabilities, which are used in understanding the complex chemistry of carbohydrate-based materials and in developing applications to address customer needs. Penford operates in two business segments: Industrial Ingredients and Food Ingredients. Industrial Ingredients segment is a supplier of chemically modified starches to the paper and packaging industries. Industrial Ingredients also produces food grade corn starch for sale by the Company’s Food Ingredients business. Food Ingredients segment is a developer and manufacturer of specialty starches and dextrins to the food manufacturing and food service industries. This business is engaged is in leveraging the inherent characteristics from potato, corn, tapioca and rice to help improve its customers’ product performance.

About SunOpta

Sunopta Inc is a Canada-based company, which operates businesses focused on a healthy products portfolio. It operates through the following segments: Global Ingredients and Consumer Products. The Global Ingredients segment aggregates its North American and international raw material sourcing and supply operating segments focused on the procurement, processing and sale of specialty and organic grains, seeds, fruits, grain- and cocoa-based ingredients, and other commodities. The Consumer Products segment provides healthy and organic food products that are consumer-packaged to retailers, foodservice distributors and food manufacturers with a range of branded and private label products. It is focused on sourcing non-genetically modified (non-GMO) and organic ingredients, and manufacturing healthy food and beverage products. It manufactures packaged products focused on the healthy beverage, healthy fruit and healthy snack categories.

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