Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) and Axiall Corp (NYSE:GGC) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends and earnings.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

84.0% of Albemarle Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Albemarle Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Albemarle Corporation and Axiall Corp, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Albemarle Corporation 0 4 11 1 2.81
Axiall Corp 0 0 0 0 N/A

Albemarle Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $110.56, suggesting a potential downside of 6.37%. Given Albemarle Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Albemarle Corporation is more favorable than Axiall Corp.

Dividends

Albemarle Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Axiall Corp does not pay a dividend. Albemarle Corporation pays out 16.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Albemarle Corporation has raised its dividend for 13 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Albemarle Corporation and Axiall Corp’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Albemarle Corporation $2.81 billion 4.64 $744.58 million $7.80 15.14
Axiall Corp N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Albemarle Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Axiall Corp.

Profitability

This table compares Albemarle Corporation and Axiall Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Albemarle Corporation 31.49% 11.59% 5.42%
Axiall Corp -3.52% -7.36% -2.47%

Summary

Albemarle Corporation beats Axiall Corp on 11 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Albemarle Corporation Company Profile

Albemarle Corporation is a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals. The Company operates through three segments: Lithium and Advanced Materials, Bromine Specialties and Refining Solutions. Lithium and Advanced Materials segment consist of two product categories: Lithium and Performance Catalyst Solutions. The bromine and bromine-based business includes products used in fire safety solutions and other specialty chemicals applications. The Company serves various end markets, including petroleum refining, consumer electronics, energy storage, construction, automotive, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food safety and custom chemistry services. As of December 31, 2016, the Company and its joint ventures operated 31 production and research and development (R&D) facilities, as well as a number of administrative and sales offices, around the world.

Axiall Corp Company Profile

Axiall Corporation (Axiall) is a manufacturer and international marketer of chemicals and building products. The Company operates through two segments: chlorovinyls and building products. Its products include chlorine, caustic soda, vinyl chloride monomer, siding and exterior accessories, and pipe and pipe fittings, among others. The Company’s chlorovinyls segment produces a chain of products, including chlor-alkali and derivative products, such as vinyl resins, ethylene dichloride (or 1, 2 dichloroethane) (EDC), chlorinated solvents, calcium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid (HCL) and phosgene derivatives, and compound products, such as vinyl compounds and compound additives and plasticizers. The Company’s building products segment consists of over two primary product groups: window and door profiles and trim, moldings and deck products, and outdoor building products, which includes siding and exterior accessories, pipe and pipe fittings.

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