Eagle Materials (NYSE: EXP) and James Hardie Industries PLC. (NYSE:JHX) are both mid-cap construction companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, dividends, institutional ownership, risk, earnings, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Eagle Materials and James Hardie Industries PLC., as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Eagle Materials 0 2 3 0 2.60
James Hardie Industries PLC. 0 1 1 0 2.50

Eagle Materials presently has a consensus price target of $100.00, indicating a potential upside of 8.32%. Given Eagle Materials’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Eagle Materials is more favorable than James Hardie Industries PLC..

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Eagle Materials and James Hardie Industries PLC.’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Eagle Materials $1.21 billion 3.70 $373.33 million $4.10 22.52
James Hardie Industries PLC. $1.92 billion 3.49 $436.50 million $1.79 8.49

James Hardie Industries PLC. has higher revenue and earnings than Eagle Materials. James Hardie Industries PLC. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Eagle Materials, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Eagle Materials pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. James Hardie Industries PLC. pays an annual dividend of $0.29 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Eagle Materials pays out 9.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. James Hardie Industries PLC. pays out 16.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. James Hardie Industries PLC. has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. James Hardie Industries PLC. is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

93.2% of Eagle Materials shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.8% of James Hardie Industries PLC. shares are held by institutional investors. 4.1% of Eagle Materials shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Eagle Materials and James Hardie Industries PLC.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Eagle Materials 16.36% 18.07% 10.19%
James Hardie Industries PLC. 14.39% -104.72% 14.01%

Volatility and Risk

Eagle Materials has a beta of 1.23, meaning that its stock price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, James Hardie Industries PLC. has a beta of 1.15, meaning that its stock price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Eagle Materials beats James Hardie Industries PLC. on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Eagle Materials Company Profile

Eagle Materials Inc. is a supplier of construction products, building materials and materials used for oil and natural gas extraction. The Company operates through five segments: Cement, Concrete and Aggregates, Gypsum Wallboard, Recycled Paperboard, and Oil and Gas Proppants. The Company’s construction products are used in residential, industrial, commercial and infrastructure construction, and include cement, slag, concrete and aggregates. Its building materials include gypsum wallboard. Its basic material used for oil and natural gas extraction include frac sand and oil well cement. It sells cement in over six regional markets, including northern Nevada and California, the greater Chicago area, the Rocky Mountain region, the Central Plains region and Texas. It sells slag in the greater Chicago, Illinois area and the greater Midwest area. It has approximately three concrete and aggregates businesses. It also operates a recycled paperboard business.

James Hardie Industries PLC. Company Profile

James Hardie Industries Plc is a manufacturer of fiber cement products and systems for internal and external building construction applications in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. The Company’s operating segments are North America and Europe Fiber Cement, and Asia Pacific Fiber Cement. The North America and Europe Fiber Cement manufactures fiber cement interior linings, exterior siding products and related accessories in the United States. The Asia Pacific Fiber Cement includes fiber cement manufactured in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, and sold in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates) and various Pacific Islands. The Company offers a range of fiber-cement building materials for both internal and external use across a range of applications, including external siding, internal walls, floors, ceilings, trim, fencing and facades.

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