Perma-Fix Environmental Services (NASDAQ: PESI) and Casella Waste Systems (NASDAQ:CWST) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Perma-Fix Environmental Services and Casella Waste Systems, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Perma-Fix Environmental Services 0 0 0 0 N/A
Casella Waste Systems 0 2 3 0 2.60

Casella Waste Systems has a consensus price target of $16.60, indicating a potential downside of 6.16%. Given Casella Waste Systems’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Casella Waste Systems is more favorable than Perma-Fix Environmental Services.

Volatility and Risk

Perma-Fix Environmental Services has a beta of 0.89, suggesting that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Casella Waste Systems has a beta of 0.59, suggesting that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Perma-Fix Environmental Services $51.79 million 0.97 $2.12 million ($0.27) -15.93
Casella Waste Systems $582.75 million 1.28 $112.99 million ($1.40) -12.64

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Perma-Fix Environmental Services -6.23% -8.74% -4.12%
Casella Waste Systems -10.01% -60.26% 3.31%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

26.0% of Perma-Fix Environmental Services shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.4% of Casella Waste Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.2% of Perma-Fix Environmental Services shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.5% of Casella Waste Systems 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

Casella Waste Systems beats Perma-Fix Environmental Services on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

About Casella Waste Systems

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. is a solid waste services company. The Company provides resource management services to residential, commercial, municipal and industrial customers, primarily in the areas of solid waste collection and disposal, transfer, recycling and organics services. It manages its solid waste operations on a geographic basis through two regional operating segments: Eastern and Western regions, each of which provides a range of solid waste services, and its recycling and commodity brokerage operations through its Recycling segment. Organics services, ancillary operations and industrial services are included in its Other segment. As of January 31, 2017, the Company owned and/or operated 32 solid waste collection operations, 46 transfer stations, 18 recycling facilities, nine Subtitle D landfills, four landfill gas-to-energy facilities and one landfill permitted to accept construction and demolition (C&D) materials.

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