Waste Connections (NYSE: WCN) and Perma-Fix Environmental Services (NASDAQ:PESI) are both business services companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, risk, dividends, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Waste Connections pays an annual dividend of $0.38 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. Perma-Fix Environmental Services does not pay a dividend. Waste Connections pays out 32.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Waste Connections has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

Waste Connections has a beta of 0.23, indicating that its share price is 77% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Perma-Fix Environmental Services has a beta of 0.86, indicating that its share price is 14% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Waste Connections and Perma-Fix Environmental Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Waste Connections 7.11% 9.19% 4.59%
Perma-Fix Environmental Services -6.23% -8.74% -4.12%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Waste Connections and Perma-Fix Environmental Services’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Waste Connections $4.40 billion 3.84 $1.37 billion $1.18 54.23
Perma-Fix Environmental Services $51.79 million 0.78 $2.12 million ($0.27) -12.78

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Waste Connections and Perma-Fix Environmental Services, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Waste Connections 0 1 9 1 3.00
Perma-Fix Environmental Services 0 0 0 0 N/A

Waste Connections presently has a consensus price target of $70.24, suggesting a potential upside of 9.46%. Given Waste Connections’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Waste Connections is more favorable than Perma-Fix Environmental Services.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

61.2% of Waste Connections shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 26.2% of Perma-Fix Environmental Services shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Waste Connections shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 6.2% of Perma-Fix Environmental Services shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Waste Connections beats Perma-Fix Environmental Services on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Waste Connections

Waste Connections, Inc. is a solid waste services company in North America. The Company provides waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services in markets in the United States and Canada. The Company operates through six segments: Southern segment, Western segment, Eastern segment, Canada segment, Central segment and E&P segment. Through its R360 Environmental Solutions subsidiary, it also provides non-hazardous exploration and production, or E&P, waste treatment, recovery and disposal services in various natural resource producing areas in the United States. It also provides intermodal services for the rail haul movement of cargo and solid waste containers in the Pacific Northwest through a network of intermodal facilities. As of December 31, 2016, it served residential, commercial, industrial and exploration and production (E&P) customers in 40 states and the District of Columbia in the United States and five provinces in Canada.

About Perma-Fix Environmental Services

Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. is an environmental and environmental technology know-how company. It operates in three segments: The Treatment Segment (Treatment), the Services Segment (Services) and the Medical Segment (Medical). Treatment includes nuclear, low-level radioactive, mixed (waste containing both hazardous and low-level radioactive waste), hazardous and non-hazardous waste treatment, processing and disposal services primarily through approximately four licensed and permitted treatment and storage facilities held by its subsidiaries. Services include on-site waste management services to commercial and government customers, technical services and nuclear services. The Medical segment includes research and development (R&D) of a new medical isotope production technology by its Polish subsidiary, Perma-Fix Medical S.A. (PF Medical). Its Treatment and Services provide services to research institutions, commercial companies, public utilities and governmental agencies.

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