Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) and Aspen Aerogels (NYSE:ASPN) are both construction companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, profitabiliy, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

74.7% of Aspen Aerogels shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.8% of Owens Corning shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 14.7% of Aspen Aerogels shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Owens Corning and Aspen Aerogels, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Owens Corning 4 4 13 0 2.43
Aspen Aerogels 0 3 3 0 2.50

Owens Corning currently has a consensus target price of $61.94, indicating a potential downside of 3.47%. Aspen Aerogels has a consensus target price of $7.25, indicating a potential upside of 80.80%. Given Aspen Aerogels’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Aspen Aerogels is more favorable than Owens Corning.

Profitability

This table compares Owens Corning and Aspen Aerogels’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Owens Corning 7.38% 11.56% 5.74%
Aspen Aerogels -17.89% -16.60% -14.33%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Owens Corning and Aspen Aerogels’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Owens Corning $5.92 billion 1.21 $1.13 billion $3.81 16.84
Aspen Aerogels $107.92 million 0.76 -$8.40 million ($0.83) -4.83

Owens Corning has higher revenue and earnings than Aspen Aerogels. Aspen Aerogels is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Owens Corning, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Owens Corning has a beta of 1.04, suggesting that its stock price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aspen Aerogels has a beta of 0.99, suggesting that its stock price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Owens Corning pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Aspen Aerogels does not pay a dividend. Owens Corning pays out 21.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Owens Corning has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Summary

Owens Corning beats Aspen Aerogels on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Owens Corning

Owens Corning is engaged in the business of composite and building materials systems, delivering a range of products and services. The Company’s products range from glass fiber used to reinforce composite materials for transportation, electronics, marine, infrastructure, wind-energy and other markets to insulation and roofing for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The Company’s segments include Composites, Insulation and Roofing. The Composites segment sells glass fiber and/or glass mat directly to a small number of shingle manufacturers. Its insulating products include thermal and acoustical batts, loosefill insulation, foam sheathing and accessories, and these are sold under brand names, such as Owens Corning PINK FIBERGLAS Insulation. The primary products in the Roofing segment are laminate and strip asphalt roofing shingles. Its other products include oxidized asphalt, roofing components and synthetic packaging materials.

About Aspen Aerogels

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. is an energy technology company that designs, develops and manufactures aerogel insulation used primarily in energy infrastructure facilities. The Company also performs contract research services for various federal and non-federal government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and other institutions. Its product lines include Pyrogel and Cryogel. The Company provides Pyrogel XT/XT-E that reduces the risk of corrosion under insulation in high temperature operating systems; Pyrogel XTF, which provides protection against fire; Cryogel Z, which is designed for sub-ambient and cryogenic applications in the energy infrastructure market, and Spaceloft Subsea, which is used in pipe-in-pipe applications in offshore oil production. It also offers Spaceloft for use in building and construction market, and Cryogel X201, which is used in cold system designs consisting of refrigerated appliances, cold storage equipment and aerospace systems.

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