GCP Applied Technologies (NYSE: GCP) and Vulcan Materials (NYSE:VMC) are both mid-cap construction companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and risk.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

82.2% of GCP Applied Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.9% of Vulcan Materials shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of GCP Applied Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of Vulcan Materials shares are owned by 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 GCP Applied Technologies and Vulcan Materials’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
GCP Applied Technologies 0.26% -44.32% 5.24%
Vulcan Materials 11.28% 8.72% 4.48%

Volatility and Risk

GCP Applied Technologies has a beta of 0.76, meaning that its stock price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vulcan Materials has a beta of 0.93, meaning that its stock price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Vulcan Materials pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. GCP Applied Technologies does not pay a dividend. Vulcan Materials pays out 32.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Vulcan Materials has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for GCP Applied Technologies and Vulcan Materials, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
GCP Applied Technologies 0 0 4 0 3.00
Vulcan Materials 0 3 5 0 2.63

GCP Applied Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $35.50, suggesting a potential upside of 23.48%. Vulcan Materials has a consensus price target of $138.60, suggesting a potential upside of 19.39%. Given GCP Applied Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe GCP Applied Technologies is more favorable than Vulcan Materials.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares GCP Applied Technologies and Vulcan Materials’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
GCP Applied Technologies $1.35 billion 1.53 $209.90 million $0.04 718.75
Vulcan Materials $3.70 billion 4.15 $940.88 million $3.09 37.57

Vulcan Materials has higher revenue and earnings than GCP Applied Technologies. Vulcan Materials is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than GCP Applied Technologies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Vulcan Materials beats GCP Applied Technologies on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About GCP Applied Technologies

GCP Applied Technologies Inc. produces and sells specialty construction chemicals, specialty building materials, and packaging sealants and coatings. The Company operates through two segments: Specialty Construction Chemicals and Specialty Building Materials. The Specialty Construction Chemicals segment manufactures and markets products to manage performance of Portland cement, and materials based on Portland cement, such as concrete admixtures and cement additives, as well as concrete production management systems. The Specialty Building Materials segment manufactures and markets building envelope products, residential building products and specialty construction products. Its brands include ADVA, CBA, MIRA, ADPRUFE, DARABLEND and APPERTA.

About Vulcan Materials

Vulcan Materials Company is a supplier of construction aggregates (primarily crushed stone, sand and gravel) and a producer of asphalt mix and ready-mixed concrete. The Company operates through four segments: Aggregates, Asphalt Mix, Concrete and Calcium. The Aggregates segment produces and sells aggregates (crushed stone, sand and gravel, sand, and other aggregates) and related products and services (transportation and other). The Company produces and sells asphalt mix in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The Company produces and sells ready-mixed concrete in Georgia, Maryland, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, Washington District of Columbia and the Bahamas. The Calcium segment consists of a Florida facility that mines, produces and sells calcium products. As of December 31, 2016, it had 337 active aggregates facilities. The Company sells aggregates that are used as ballast for construction and maintenance of railroad tracks.

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