Head to Head Contrast: Builders FirstSource (BLDR) vs. Lowe’s (LOW)

Builders FirstSource (NASDAQ: BLDR) and Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, profitability, earnings, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.


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This table compares Builders FirstSource and Lowe’s’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Builders FirstSource 0.55% 39.79% 4.81%
Lowe’s 5.02% 65.17% 10.10%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

98.0% of Builders FirstSource shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.8% of Lowe’s shares are held by institutional investors. 14.6% of Builders FirstSource shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.1% of Lowe’s shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Builders FirstSource and Lowe’s’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Builders FirstSource $7.03 billion 0.31 $38.78 million $1.27 14.76
Lowe’s $68.62 billion 1.01 $3.45 billion $4.39 19.05

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Builders FirstSource and Lowe’s, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Builders FirstSource 0 2 8 0 2.80
Lowe’s 0 9 23 0 2.72

Builders FirstSource presently has a consensus target price of $23.35, indicating a potential upside of 24.60%. Lowe’s has a consensus target price of $98.36, indicating a potential upside of 17.62%. Given Builders FirstSource’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Builders FirstSource is more favorable than Lowe’s.


Lowe’s pays an annual dividend of $1.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Builders FirstSource does not pay a dividend. Lowe’s pays out 37.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Lowe’s has increased its dividend for 55 consecutive years.

Volatility & Risk

Builders FirstSource has a beta of 2.05, meaning that its stock price is 105% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lowe’s has a beta of 1.32, meaning that its stock price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Lowe’s beats Builders FirstSource on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Builders FirstSource

Builders FirstSource, Inc. manufactures and supplies building materials, manufactured components, and construction services to professional homebuilders, sub-contractors, remodelers, and consumers in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Northeast, Southeast, South, and West. Its products include lumber and lumber sheet goods comprising dimensional lumber, plywood, and OSB products that are used in on-site house framing; and windows, and interior and exterior door units, as well as interior trims and custom products under the Synboard brand. The company's manufactured products consist of wood floor and roof trusses, steel roof trusses, wall panels, stairs, and engineered wood; gypsum, roofing, and insulation products, including wallboards, ceilings, joint treatments, and finishes, as well as vinyl, composite, and wood sidings; and exterior trims, other exteriors, metal studs, and cement products. In addition, it offers other building products and services, such as cabinets and hardware, as well as turn-key framing, shell construction, design assistance, and professional installation services. Further, the company supplies professional grade building products, such as lumber and lumber sheet goods, and various windows, doors, and millwork lines. The company was formerly known as BSL Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to Builders FirstSource, Inc. in October 1999. Builders FirstSource, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

About Lowe’s

Lowe's Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It offers a line of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and decorating. The company provides home improvement products in various categories, such as lumber and building materials, tools and hardware, appliances, fashion fixtures, rough plumbing and electrical, seasonal and outdoor living, lawn and garden, paint, millwork, flooring, and kitchens, as well as outdoor power equipment. It also offers installation services through independent contractors in various product categories; extended protection plans; and in-warranty and out-of-warranty repair services. The company sells its national brand-name merchandise and private branded products to homeowners, renters, and professional customers. As of March 26, 2018, it operated 2,390 home improvement and hardware stores. The company also sells its products through online sites comprising Lowes.com and Lowesforpros.com; and through mobile applications. Lowe's Companies, Inc. was founded in 1946 and is based in Mooresville, North Carolina.

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