Sensient Technologies Corporation (NYSE: SXT) and OCI Partners (NYSE:OCIP) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and risk.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

89.0% of Sensient Technologies Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 15.0% of OCI Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Sensient Technologies Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Sensient Technologies Corporation and OCI Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sensient Technologies Corporation 8.16% 17.15% 8.75%
OCI Partners -5.60% -10.52% -2.53%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Sensient Technologies Corporation and OCI Partners’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sensient Technologies Corporation $1.36 billion 2.53 $247.07 million $2.48 31.63
OCI Partners $298.87 million 2.27 $93.85 million ($0.19) -41.05

Sensient Technologies Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than OCI Partners. OCI Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sensient Technologies Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Sensient Technologies Corporation and OCI Partners, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sensient Technologies Corporation 0 0 2 0 3.00
OCI Partners 1 0 0 0 1.00

Sensient Technologies Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $89.15, indicating a potential upside of 13.67%. OCI Partners has a consensus price target of $7.00, indicating a potential downside of 10.26%. Given Sensient Technologies Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Sensient Technologies Corporation is more favorable than OCI Partners.

Risk and Volatility

Sensient Technologies Corporation has a beta of 1.09, meaning that its share price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, OCI Partners has a beta of 1.32, meaning that its share price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Sensient Technologies Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. OCI Partners pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.2%. Sensient Technologies Corporation pays out 48.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. OCI Partners pays out -252.6% 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. OCI Partners has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. OCI Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Sensient Technologies Corporation beats OCI Partners on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Sensient Technologies Corporation

Sensient Technologies Corporation is a manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors and fragrances. The Company uses technologies at facilities around the world to develop specialty food and beverage systems, cosmetic and pharmaceutical systems, specialty inks and colors, and other specialty and fine chemicals. The Company’s three segments include the Flavors & Fragrances Group and the Color Group, which are managed on a product-and-services basis, and the Asia Pacific Group, which is managed on a geographic basis. The Company’s principal products include flavors, flavor enhancers and bionutrients; fragrances, aroma chemicals and essential oils; natural ingredients, including dehydrated vegetables and other food ingredients; natural and synthetic food and beverage colors; cosmetic colors and ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients and ingredients, and technical colors, specialty inks and colors, and specialty dyes and pigments.

About OCI Partners

OCI Partners LP owns and operates an integrated methanol and ammonia production facility that is located on the Texas Gulf Coast near Beaumont. The Company has an annual methanol production capacity of approximately 912,500 metric tons and an annual ammonia production capacity of approximately 331,000 metric tons. It purchases natural gas from third parties and processes the natural gas into synthesis gas, which it then further processes in the production of methanol and ammonia. It stores and sells the processed methanol and ammonia to industrial and commercial customers for further processing or distribution. Its methanol production unit comprises Foster-Wheeler-designed twin steam methane reformers for synthesis gas production, over two Lurgi-designed parallel low-pressure, water-cooled reactors and approximately four distillation columns. The Haldor-Topsoe-designed ammonia synthesis loop at its facility processes hydrogen produced by methanol production process.

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