Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR) and Argan (NYSE:AGX) are both construction companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, profitabiliy, earnings and dividends.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Quanta Services and Argan’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Quanta Services $8.12 billion 0.63 $580.47 million $1.47 22.86
Argan $775.19 million 1.28 $126.79 million $5.05 12.69

Quanta Services has higher revenue and earnings than Argan. Argan is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Quanta Services, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Quanta Services and Argan’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Quanta Services 2.79% 7.08% 4.32%
Argan 10.15% 27.78% 13.15%

Risk & Volatility

Quanta Services has a beta of 0.84, indicating that its stock price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Argan has a beta of 0.91, indicating that its stock price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Quanta Services and Argan, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Quanta Services 0 2 6 0 2.75
Argan 0 2 1 0 2.33

Quanta Services currently has a consensus target price of $40.00, indicating a potential upside of 19.01%. Argan has a consensus target price of $71.00, indicating a potential upside of 10.76%. Given Quanta Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Quanta Services is more favorable than Argan.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

89.2% of Quanta Services shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.4% of Argan shares are held by institutional investors. 0.7% of Quanta Services shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.6% of Argan shares are held by company 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.

Dividends

Argan pays an annual dividend of $0.70 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Quanta Services does not pay a dividend. Argan pays out 13.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

About Quanta Services

Quanta Services, Inc. is a provider of specialty contracting services, offering infrastructure solutions primarily to the electric power and oil and gas industries in the United States, Canada and Australia and selected other international markets. The Company operates through two segments: Electric Power Infrastructure Services, which provides network solutions to customers in the electric power industry, and Oil and Gas Infrastructure Services, which provides network solutions to customers involved in the development and transportation of natural gas, oil and other pipeline products. The services it provides include the design, installation, upgrade, repair and maintenance of infrastructure within each of the industries it serves, such as electric power transmission and distribution networks, substation facilities, renewable energy facilities, pipeline transmission and distribution systems and facilities, and infrastructure services for the offshore and inland water energy markets.

About Argan

Argan, Inc. is a holding company. The Company conducts operations through its subsidiaries, Gemma Power Systems, LLC and affiliates (GPS), Atlantic Projects Company Limited (APC), Southern Maryland Cable, Inc. (SMC) and The Roberts Company (Roberts). Through GPS and APC, the Company’s power industry services segment provides engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations management, maintenance, development, technical and consulting services to the power generation and renewable energy markets. Through SMC, the telecommunications infrastructure services segment of the Company provides project management, construction, installation and maintenance services to commercial, local government and federal government customers. Through Roberts, the Company’s industrial fabrication and field services segment produces, delivers and installs fabricated steel components specializing in pressure vessels and heat exchangers for industrial plants.

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