Axiall Corp (NYSE: AXLL) and Methanex Corporation (NASDAQ:MEOH) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitabiliy, risk, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings and dividends.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Axiall Corp and Methanex Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Axiall Corp 0 1 0 0 2.00
Methanex Corporation 1 3 7 0 2.55

Axiall Corp presently has a consensus price target of $33.00, indicating a potential upside of 0.00%. Methanex Corporation has a consensus price target of $58.45, indicating a potential upside of 32.85%. Given Methanex Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Methanex Corporation is more favorable than Axiall Corp.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Axiall Corp and Methanex Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Axiall Corp N/A N/A N/A ($12.85) -2.57
Methanex Corporation $2.37 billion 1.64 $443.93 million $1.59 27.67

Methanex Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Axiall Corp. Axiall Corp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Methanex Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Axiall Corp pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Methanex Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Axiall Corp pays out -5.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Methanex Corporation pays out 75.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Volatility and Risk

Axiall Corp has a beta of 2.34, indicating that its stock price is 134% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Methanex Corporation has a beta of 1.78, indicating that its stock price is 78% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

80.3% of Methanex Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Methanex Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Axiall Corp and Methanex Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Axiall Corp -3.52% -7.36% -2.47%
Methanex Corporation 6.01% 7.04% 2.85%

Summary

Methanex Corporation beats Axiall Corp on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Axiall Corp

Axiall Corporation (Axiall) is a manufacturer and international marketer of chemicals and building products. The Company operates through two segments: chlorovinyls and building products. Its products include chlorine, caustic soda, vinyl chloride monomer, siding and exterior accessories, and pipe and pipe fittings, among others. The Company’s chlorovinyls segment produces a chain of products, including chlor-alkali and derivative products, such as vinyl resins, ethylene dichloride (or 1, 2 dichloroethane) (EDC), chlorinated solvents, calcium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid (HCL) and phosgene derivatives, and compound products, such as vinyl compounds and compound additives and plasticizers. The Company’s building products segment consists of over two primary product groups: window and door profiles and trim, moldings and deck products, and outdoor building products, which includes siding and exterior accessories, pipe and pipe fittings.

About Methanex Corporation

Methanex Corp is a Canada-based producer and supplier of methanol to a range of international markets. The Company operates production sites in Canada, Chile, Egypt, New Zealand, the United States, as well as Trinidad and Tobago. Its global operations are supported by a global supply chain of terminals, storage facilities and a fleet of methanol ocean tankers. The Company’s subsidiary, Waterfront Shipping Company Limited, operates its fleet, which is made up of over 20 vessels ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 deadweight tons of capacity. It has over three production facilities in New Zealand that supply methanol primarily to customers in Asia Pacific. The Company operates over two plants in Trinidad, Titan and Atlas, which supply methanol to markets in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South America. Its joint venture facility in Egypt supplies methanol to markets in Europe and Asia Pacific. Its plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, supplies methanol to customers in North America.

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