Airgas (NYSE: ARG) and Olin Corporation (NYSE:OLN) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, valuation and profitability.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Airgas and Olin Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Airgas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Olin Corporation $5.93 billion 0.86 $842.90 million $0.25 123.40

Olin Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Airgas.

Profitability

This table compares Airgas and Olin Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Airgas 5.98% 15.44% 5.04%
Olin Corporation 0.72% 5.80% 1.51%

Dividends

Olin Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Airgas does not pay a dividend. Olin Corporation pays out 320.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Airgas has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Airgas and Olin Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Airgas 0 0 0 0 N/A
Olin Corporation 0 2 4 0 2.67

Olin Corporation has a consensus price target of $32.67, suggesting a potential upside of 5.89%. Given Olin Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Olin Corporation is more favorable than Airgas.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

92.6% of Olin Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.9% of Olin Corporation shares are owned by company 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

Olin Corporation beats Airgas on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Airgas Company Profile

Airgas, Inc. is a supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hard goods, such as welding equipment and related products. The Company is also a producer of atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, dry ice and nitrous oxide and a supplier of safety products, refrigerants, ammonia products and process chemicals. It operates through two segments: Distribution and All Other Operations. The Distribution segment offers a portfolio of related gas and hard goods products and services to the end customers. The All Other Operations segment consists of five business units which manufacture or distribute carbon dioxide, dry ice, nitrous oxide, ammonia and refrigerant gases. It also offers supply chain management services and solutions, and product and process technical support across many customer segments. It markets its products and services through multiple sales channels, including branch-based sales representatives, retail stores and strategic customer account programs, among others.

Olin Corporation Company Profile

Olin Corporation is a manufacturer and distributor of chemical products, and ammunition. The Company operates through three segments: Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls, Epoxy and Winchester. The Chlor Alkali Products and Vinyls segment manufactures and sells chlorine and caustic soda, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer, methyl chloride, methylene chloride, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene and vinylidene chloride, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, bleach products and potassium hydroxide. The Epoxy segment produces and sells a range of epoxy materials, including allyl chloride, epichlorohydrin, liquid epoxy resins and downstream products, such as converted epoxy resins and additives. The Winchester segment produces and sells sporting ammunition, reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and industrial cartridges.

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