Marrone Bio Innovations (NASDAQ: MBII) and American Vanguard Corporation (NYSE:AVD) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

29.5% of Marrone Bio Innovations shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.8% of American Vanguard Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 7.3% of Marrone Bio Innovations shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.7% of American Vanguard Corporation shares are owned 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.

Volatility & Risk

Marrone Bio Innovations has a beta of 0.3, meaning that its share price is 70% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Vanguard Corporation has a beta of 1.38, meaning that its share price is 38% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

American Vanguard Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.06 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Marrone Bio Innovations does not pay a dividend. American Vanguard Corporation pays out 12.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Marrone Bio Innovations and American Vanguard Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marrone Bio Innovations 0 2 1 0 2.33
American Vanguard Corporation 0 1 1 1 3.00

Marrone Bio Innovations currently has a consensus price target of $2.50, suggesting a potential upside of 142.72%. American Vanguard Corporation has a consensus price target of $19.50, suggesting a potential downside of 2.01%. Given Marrone Bio Innovations’ higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Marrone Bio Innovations is more favorable than American Vanguard Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Marrone Bio Innovations and American Vanguard Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marrone Bio Innovations -176.95% N/A -64.71%
American Vanguard Corporation 4.56% 5.10% 3.34%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Marrone Bio Innovations and American Vanguard Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Marrone Bio Innovations $15.53 million 2.08 -$19.96 million N/A N/A
American Vanguard Corporation $318.49 million 1.86 $44.28 million $0.50 39.80

American Vanguard Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Marrone Bio Innovations.

Summary

American Vanguard Corporation beats Marrone Bio Innovations on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Marrone Bio Innovations

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. offers bio-based pest management and plant health products. The Company’s bio-based products include naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and plant extracts. It sells its products to crop protection market. Its four crop protection products include Regalia, Grandevo, Venerate and Majestene. Its products are used in both conventional and organic crop production, and are sold to growers of specialty crops, such as grapes, citrus, tomatoes, vegetables, nuts, leafy greens and ornamental plants. It offers Regalia for large-acre row crops, such as corn and soybeans. Its pipeline of early-stage discoveries and product candidates extends across a range of product types for end markets, including herbicides, fungicides, nematicides, insecticides, algaecides (for algae control), molluscicides (for mussel and snail control), and plant growth and plant stress regulators. It is engaged in developing MBI-010, MBI-110, Haven (MBI-505) and MBI-601.

About American Vanguard Corporation

American Vanguard Corporation operates as a holding company. The Company conducts its business through its subsidiaries, AMVAC Chemical Corporation (AMVAC), GemChem, Inc. (GemChem), 2110 Davie Corporation (DAVIE), Quimica Amvac de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (AMVAC M), AMVAC Mexico Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (AMVAC M Srl), AMVAC de Costa Rica Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (AMVAC CR Srl), AMVAC Switzerland GmbH (AMVAC S), AMVAC do Brasil Representacoes Ltda (AMVAC B), AMVAC C.V. (AMVAC CV), AMVAC Netherlands BV (AMVAC BV), Envance Technologies, LLC (Envance), AMVAC Singapore Pte, Ltd (AMVAC Sgpr) and Huifeng AMVAC Innovation Co. Limited (Hong Kong JV). AMVAC is a specialty chemical manufacturer that develops and markets products for agricultural, commercial and consumer uses. It manufactures and formulates chemicals, such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, molluscicides and soil fumigants for crops, turf and ornamental plants, and human and animal health protection.

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