Aqua Metals (NASDAQ: AQMS) and Global Brass and Copper Holdings (NYSE:BRSS) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, earnings, dividends and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Aqua Metals and Global Brass and Copper Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aqua Metals 0 0 6 0 3.00
Global Brass and Copper Holdings 0 1 0 0 2.00

Aqua Metals currently has a consensus price target of $28.60, indicating a potential upside of 135.39%. Given Aqua Metals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Aqua Metals is more favorable than Global Brass and Copper Holdings.

Risk & Volatility

Aqua Metals has a beta of 1.52, meaning that its share price is 52% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Global Brass and Copper Holdings has a beta of 0.44, meaning that its share price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Aqua Metals and Global Brass and Copper Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aqua Metals N/A N/A -$13.69 million ($0.99) -12.27
Global Brass and Copper Holdings $1.40 billion 0.50 $108.80 million $1.69 18.88

Global Brass and Copper Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than Aqua Metals. Aqua Metals is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Global Brass and Copper Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Aqua Metals and Global Brass and Copper Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aqua Metals N/A -31.86% -24.73%
Global Brass and Copper Holdings 2.64% 50.58% 8.18%

Dividends

Global Brass and Copper Holdings pays an annual dividend of $0.15 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Aqua Metals does not pay a dividend. Global Brass and Copper Holdings pays out 8.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

40.1% of Aqua Metals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.9% of Global Brass and Copper Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. 19.7% of Aqua Metals shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.8% of Global Brass and Copper Holdings shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Global Brass and Copper Holdings beats Aqua Metals on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Aqua Metals Company Profile

Aqua Metals, Inc. is engaged in the business of recycling lead through a process that the Company developed and named AquaRefining. The Company’s AquaRefining process focuses on providing for the recycling of lead acid batteries (LABs) and the production of lead. AquaRefining uses bio-degradable aqueous solvent and an ambient temperature electro-chemical process to produce lead. The modular nature of AquaRefining makes it possible to start LAB recycling at a much smaller scale than is possible with smelters. Its AquaRefining process begins with the crushing of used LABs and the separation of the metallic lead, active material (lead compounds), sulfuric acid and plastic for recycling. The active material is dissolved in its solvent. The primary lead is then stripped from the solvent using its automated process allowing the solvent to be reused continuously and indefinitely. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had not generated revenues.

Global Brass and Copper Holdings Company Profile

Global Brass and Copper Holdings, Inc. is a converter, fabricator, processor and distributor of specialized non-ferrous products, including a range of sheet, strip, foil, rod, tube and fabricated metal component products. The Company operates through three segments: Olin Brass, Chase Brass and A.J. Oster. Its Olin Brass segment is engaged in manufacturing, fabricating and converting specialized copper and brass sheet, strip, foil, tube and fabricated products. The Chase Brass segment is engaged in manufacturing brass rod, including round, hexagonal and other shapes. The A.J. Oster segment is engaged in processing and distributing copper and copper-alloy sheet, strip and foil, operating six service centers in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Its products are used in a range of applications across markets, including the building and housing, munitions, automotive, transportation, coinage, industrial machinery and equipment, and general consumer end markets.

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