Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR) and AECOM (NYSE:ACM) are both mid-cap construction companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, risk, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Volatility and Risk

Quanta Services has a beta of 0.83, suggesting that its stock price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, AECOM has a beta of 1.7, suggesting that its stock price is 70% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Quanta Services and AECOM, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Quanta Services 0 2 7 0 2.78
AECOM 0 5 4 0 2.44

Quanta Services presently has a consensus target price of $42.00, indicating a potential upside of 15.80%. AECOM has a consensus target price of $38.67, indicating a potential upside of 14.06%. Given Quanta Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Quanta Services is more favorable than AECOM.

Profitability

This table compares Quanta Services and AECOM’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Quanta Services 3.21% 8.36% 5.11%
AECOM 1.46% 12.19% 3.29%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

88.5% of Quanta Services shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 82.1% of AECOM shares are held by institutional investors. 0.7% of Quanta Services shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of AECOM shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Quanta Services and AECOM’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Quanta Services $8.52 billion 0.66 $655.04 million $1.77 20.49
AECOM $17.67 billion 0.30 $790.46 million $1.64 20.67

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

Summary

Quanta Services beats AECOM on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Quanta Services

Quanta Services, Inc. is a provider of specialty contracting services, offering infrastructure solutions primarily to the electric power and oil and gas industries in the United States, Canada and Australia and selected other international markets. The Company operates through two segments: Electric Power Infrastructure Services, which provides network solutions to customers in the electric power industry, and Oil and Gas Infrastructure Services, which provides network solutions to customers involved in the development and transportation of natural gas, oil and other pipeline products. The services it provides include the design, installation, upgrade, repair and maintenance of infrastructure within each of the industries it serves, such as electric power transmission and distribution networks, substation facilities, renewable energy facilities, pipeline transmission and distribution systems and facilities, and infrastructure services for the offshore and inland water energy markets.

About AECOM

AECOM is engaged in designing, building, financing and operating infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations. The Company’s segments include design and consulting services (DCS), construction services (CS) and management services (MS). Its DCS segment is engaged in planning, consulting, architectural and engineering design services to commercial and government clients in major end markets, such as transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. Its CS segment is engaged in construction services, including building construction and energy, infrastructure and industrial construction, primarily in the Americas. Its MS segment is engaged in programming and facilitating management and maintenance, training, logistics, consulting, technical assistance, and systems integration and information technology services, primarily for agencies of the United States government and other national governments.

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