Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE: SQM) and Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, risk, institutional ownership, profitability and dividends.

Risk and Volatility

Sociedad Quimica y Minera has a beta of 1.06, suggesting that its stock price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Intrepid Potash has a beta of 1.13, suggesting that its stock price is 13% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Sociedad Quimica y Minera and Intrepid Potash’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sociedad Quimica y Minera 16.28% 14.81% 7.98%
Intrepid Potash -30.56% -12.37% -8.86%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

16.7% of Sociedad Quimica y Minera shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 42.1% of Intrepid Potash shares are held by institutional investors. 27.2% of Intrepid Potash shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Sociedad Quimica y Minera and Intrepid Potash’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sociedad Quimica y Minera $2.08 billion 6.04 $810.31 million $1.29 36.98
Intrepid Potash $133.60 million 3.45 -$86,000.00 ($0.68) -5.21

Sociedad Quimica y Minera has higher revenue and earnings than Intrepid Potash. Intrepid Potash is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sociedad Quimica y Minera, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Sociedad Quimica y Minera and Intrepid Potash, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sociedad Quimica y Minera 0 4 1 0 2.20
Intrepid Potash 0 1 0 0 2.00

Sociedad Quimica y Minera currently has a consensus price target of $36.00, suggesting a potential downside of 24.54%. Intrepid Potash has a consensus price target of $3.00, suggesting a potential downside of 15.25%. Given Intrepid Potash’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Intrepid Potash is more favorable than Sociedad Quimica y Minera.

Dividends

Sociedad Quimica y Minera pays an annual dividend of $1.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Intrepid Potash does not pay a dividend. Sociedad Quimica y Minera pays out 89.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Intrepid Potash has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Summary

Sociedad Quimica y Minera beats Intrepid Potash on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera Company Profile

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM), is a producer of potassium nitrate and iodine. The Company produces specialty plant nutrients, iodine derivatives, lithium and its derivatives, potassium chloride, potassium sulfate and certain industrial chemicals. Its segments include specialty plant nutrients, industrial chemicals, iodine and derivatives, lithium and derivatives, potassium, and other products and services. Specialty plant nutrients are fertilizers that enable farmers to improve yields and the quality of certain crops. Industrial chemicals have a range of applications in chemical processes, such as the manufacturing of glass and industrial nitrates. Iodine and its derivatives are used in the X-ray contrast media and biocides industries, among others. Lithium and its derivatives are used in batteries, greases and frits for production of ceramics. Potassium chloride is a commodity fertilizer that is produced and sold by the Company across the world.

Intrepid Potash Company Profile

Intrepid Potash, Inc. is a producer of muriate of potash (potassium chloride or potash) and langbeinite (sulfate of potash magnesia) in the United States, which it markets and sells as Trio. The Company operates in the extraction, production and sale of potassium-related products. Its products are potash and Trio. It sells potash into three markets, including the agricultural market as a fertilizer input; the industrial market as a component in drilling and fracturing fluids for oil and gas wells and an input to other industrial processes, and the animal feed market as a nutrient supplement. Trio, which it mines from langbeinite ore, is its specialty fertilizer that delivers potassium, sulfate and magnesium in a single particle and has low chloride. The Company also produces salt, magnesium chloride, metal recovery salts and brine containing salt and potassium from its mining processes. It produces potash from three solar evaporation solution mining facilities.

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