Vertex Energy (NASDAQ: VTNR) and Sharps Compliance Corp (NASDAQ:SMED) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitabiliy, dividends and institutional ownership.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Vertex Energy and Sharps Compliance Corp’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vertex Energy $118.72 million 0.30 $975,784.00 ($0.55) -2.00
Sharps Compliance Corp $36.70 million 2.08 $497,999.00 ($0.10) -47.70

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

Risk & Volatility

Vertex Energy has a beta of 0.84, suggesting that its stock price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sharps Compliance Corp has a beta of 0.58, suggesting that its stock price is 42% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Vertex Energy and Sharps Compliance Corp, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vertex Energy 0 1 0 0 2.00
Sharps Compliance Corp 0 1 0 0 2.00

Vertex Energy currently has a consensus price target of $1.00, suggesting a potential downside of 9.09%. Sharps Compliance Corp has a consensus price target of $6.00, suggesting a potential upside of 25.79%. Given Sharps Compliance Corp’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Sharps Compliance Corp is more favorable than Vertex Energy.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

23.6% of Vertex Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 26.5% of Sharps Compliance Corp shares are held by institutional investors. 31.0% of Vertex Energy shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 20.3% of Sharps Compliance Corp shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Vertex Energy and Sharps Compliance Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vertex Energy -5.63% -16.86% -7.60%
Sharps Compliance Corp -4.47% -3.66% -2.64%

Summary

Sharps Compliance Corp beats Vertex Energy on 7 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Vertex Energy Company Profile

Vertex Energy, Inc. is an environmental services company that recycles industrial waste streams and off-specification commercial chemical products. The Company focuses on recycling used motor oil and other petroleum by-products. The Company’s segments include the Black Oil, Refining and Marketing, and Recovery divisions. The Company’s product categories include Used Motor Oil, Fuel Oil, pyrolysis gasoline (Pygas), Gasoline Blendstock and Base Oil. The Black Oil division is engaged in operations across the used motor oil recycling value chain, including collection, aggregation, transportation, storage, refinement and sales of aggregated feedstock and re-refined products to end users. The Refining and Marketing division is engaged in the aggregation of feedstock, re-refining it into end products, and selling these products to customers. The Recovery division is a provider of generator solutions for the recovery and management of hydrocarbon streams.

Sharps Compliance Corp Company Profile

Sharps Compliance Corp. is a provider of waste management services, including medical, pharmaceutical and hazardous. The Company’s solutions include Sharps Recovery System, TakeAway Medication Recovery System, MedSafe, Route-Based Pickup Service, TakeAway Recycle System, ComplianceTRAC, Universal Waste Shipback Systems and Other Solutions. The Company’s solutions facilitate the collection, containment, transportation and treatment of various types of healthcare-related materials, including hypodermic needles, lancets and other devices or objects used to puncture or lacerate the skin, or sharps, hazardous waste and unused consumer dispensed medications and over-the-counter drugs. It assists its customers in determining which of its solution offerings fit for the collection, containment, return transportation and treatment of medical waste, used healthcare materials, pharmaceutical waste, hazardous waste and unused dispensed medications. It provides tracking and reporting tools.

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