Layne Christensen Company (NASDAQ: LAYN) and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (NASDAQ:GLDD) are both small-cap construction companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, profitabiliy and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares Layne Christensen Company and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Layne Christensen Company -11.98% -31.94% -6.75%
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation -2.70% -0.23% -0.06%

Risk & Volatility

Layne Christensen Company has a beta of 0.29, indicating that its stock price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation has a beta of 0.79, indicating that its stock price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Layne Christensen Company and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Layne Christensen Company 0 2 0 0 2.00
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation 0 2 1 0 2.33

Layne Christensen Company presently has a consensus price target of $9.00, suggesting a potential downside of 5.16%. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation has a consensus price target of $4.83, suggesting a potential upside of 11.11%. Given Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation is more favorable than Layne Christensen Company.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

92.3% of Layne Christensen Company shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.9% of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 12.0% of Layne Christensen Company shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 8.2% of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Layne Christensen Company and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Layne Christensen Company $592.83 million 0.32 $8.28 million ($3.34) -2.84
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation $775.05 million 0.34 $76.01 million ($0.33) -13.18

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Layne Christensen Company. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Layne Christensen Company, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation beats Layne Christensen Company on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Layne Christensen Company Company Profile

Layne Christensen Company (Layne) is a water management, construction and drilling company. The Company provides drilling solutions for water management, mineral services and specialty drilling needs. The Company operates through three segments: Water Resources, Inliner and Mineral Services. Its Water Resources segment provides its customers with solutions for various aspects of water supply system development and technology throughout the United States. Its Inliner segment is a service rehabilitation company offering a range of solutions for wastewater, storm water and process sewer pipeline networks. Its Mineral Services conducts ground drilling activities, including core drilling, reverse circulation, dual tube, hammer and rotary air-blast methods.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation Company Profile

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation is a provider of dredging services. The Company provides dredging services in the East, West and Gulf Coasts of the United States and around the world. It operates in two segments: Dredging Operations, which involves enhancement or preservation of navigability of waterways or the protection of shorelines through the removal or replenishment of soil, sand or rock, and Environmental & Remediation Operations, which provides construction services on soil, water and sediment for clients in both the public and private sectors. It has interest in Amboy Aggregates, which is involved in mining sand from the entrance channel to New York Harbor for providing sand and aggregate for use in road and building construction, and for clean land fill; Lower Main Street Development, LLC (Lower Main), which is engaged in land development and sale business, and TerraSea Environmental Solutions (TerraSea), which is engaged in the environmental services business.

Receive News & Ratings for Layne Christensen Company Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Layne Christensen Company and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.