Ferro Corporation (NYSE: FOE) and BioAmber (NYSE:BIOA) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

96.4% of Ferro Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 47.0% of BioAmber shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of Ferro Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 8.3% of BioAmber shares are owned by 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.

Risk & Volatility

Ferro Corporation has a beta of 2.02, suggesting that its share price is 102% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BioAmber has a beta of 2.55, suggesting that its share price is 155% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Ferro Corporation and BioAmber, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ferro Corporation 0 0 4 0 3.00
BioAmber 0 1 0 0 2.00

Ferro Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $20.25, suggesting a potential upside of 7.94%. BioAmber has a consensus price target of $3.00, suggesting a potential upside of 527.35%. Given BioAmber’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe BioAmber is more favorable than Ferro Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Ferro Corporation and BioAmber’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ferro Corporation 1.06% 35.05% 7.69%
BioAmber -221.82% -56.55% -21.56%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ferro Corporation and BioAmber’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ferro Corporation $1.24 billion 1.27 $174.53 million $0.15 125.08
BioAmber $10.54 million 1.68 -$24.98 million ($0.80) -0.60

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

Summary

Ferro Corporation beats BioAmber on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ferro Corporation

Ferro Corporation (Ferro) produces specialty materials that are sold to a range of manufacturers. The Company’s segments include Performance Coatings; Performance Colors and Glass, and Pigments, Powders and Oxides. Its Performance Coatings segment includes Tile Coating Systems and Porcelain Enamel. Its manufacturers make products for various end-use markets. The Company’s products fall into two general categories: functional coatings, which perform specific functions in the manufacturing processes and end products of its customers, and color solutions, which provide aesthetic and performance characteristics to its customers’ products. Its products are used in a range of product applications in markets, including appliances, automobiles, building and renovation, electronics, household furnishings, industrial products and packaging.

About BioAmber

BioAmber Inc. (BioAmber), formerly DNP Green Technology, Inc., is an industrial biotechnology company, which produces sustainable chemicals. The Company’s technology platform combines industrial biotechnology and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstocks into sustainable chemicals that are replacements for petroleum-derived chemicals, which are used in a range of everyday products, including plastics, food additives and personal care products. Its geographical segments include Europe and North America. Its product pipeline includes the derivatives of bio-succinic acid, such as 1,4 Butanediol (1,4 BDO) and tetrahydrofuran (THF), and succinic acid-based polyesters, and C6 building block chemicals, such as adipic acid, caprolactam and hexamethylenediamine (HMDA). Its products are used in various applications, including polyurethanes, resins and coatings, de-icing and coolant solutions, fine chemicals, lubricants, carpets, engineering plastics and artificial leather products.

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