KBR (NYSE: KBR) and EMCOR Group (NYSE:EME) are both mid-cap construction companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and earnings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

99.7% of KBR shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.5% of EMCOR Group shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of KBR shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of EMCOR Group 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.

Dividends

KBR pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. EMCOR Group pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. KBR pays out -128.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. EMCOR Group pays out 9.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. EMCOR Group has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. KBR is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares KBR and EMCOR Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
KBR -0.81% 8.74% 1.89%
EMCOR Group 2.63% 13.19% 5.32%

Volatility & Risk

KBR has a beta of 1.08, indicating that its stock price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, EMCOR Group has a beta of 0.89, indicating that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for KBR and EMCOR Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
KBR 1 2 7 0 2.60
EMCOR Group 0 3 1 0 2.25

KBR currently has a consensus target price of $18.67, indicating a potential upside of 7.22%. EMCOR Group has a consensus target price of $70.50, indicating a potential upside of 6.09%. Given KBR’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe KBR is more favorable than EMCOR Group.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares KBR and EMCOR Group’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
KBR $4.46 billion 0.55 $9.00 million ($0.25) -69.64
EMCOR Group $7.66 billion 0.51 $425.32 million $3.33 19.96

EMCOR Group has higher revenue and earnings than KBR. KBR is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than EMCOR Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

KBR beats EMCOR Group on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

KBR Company Profile

KBR, Inc. is a provider of professional services and technologies across the asset and program life-cycle within the government services and hydrocarbons industries. The Company operates through business segments, including Technology & Consulting (T&C), Engineering & Construction (E&C), Government Services (GS), Non-strategic Business and Other. The T&C business segment combines KBR technologies, knowledge-based services and its three specialty consulting brands, Granherne, Energo and GVA, under a single customer-facing global business. The E&C business segment provides project and program delivery solution across the globe. The GS business segment provides life-cycle support solutions to defense, space, aviation and other programs and missions for government agencies in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Its solutions include engineering services, mission and logistics support solutions, consulting, procurement, construction management and other support services.

EMCOR Group Company Profile

EMCOR Group, Inc. is an electrical and mechanical construction, and facilities services firm in the United States. The Company provides building services and industrial services. Its segments are United States electrical construction and facilities services; United States mechanical construction and facilities services; United States building services; United States industrial services, and United Kingdom building services. As of December 31, 2016, its services were provided to a range of commercial, industrial, utility and institutional customers through approximately 75 operating subsidiaries and joint venture entities. It is providing construction services relating to electrical and mechanical systems in various types of non-residential and certain residential facilities, and in providing services relating to the operation, maintenance and management of facilities, including refineries and petrochemical plants. It operates various electrical and mechanical systems.

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