W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) and Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ:SIAL) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for W.R. Grace & Co. and Sigma-Aldrich, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
W.R. Grace & Co. 0 3 8 0 2.73
Sigma-Aldrich 0 0 0 0 N/A

W.R. Grace & Co. currently has a consensus price target of $79.55, suggesting a potential upside of 9.06%. Given W.R. Grace & Co.’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe W.R. Grace & Co. is more favorable than Sigma-Aldrich.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares W.R. Grace & Co. and Sigma-Aldrich’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
W.R. Grace & Co. $1.67 billion 2.98 $371.30 million $1.99 36.65
Sigma-Aldrich N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

W.R. Grace & Co. has higher revenue and earnings than Sigma-Aldrich.

Profitability

This table compares W.R. Grace & Co. and Sigma-Aldrich’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
W.R. Grace & Co. 8.20% 43.88% 6.20%
Sigma-Aldrich 16.22% 13.72% 10.47%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

84.7% of W.R. Grace & Co. shares are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of W.R. Grace & Co. shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

W.R. Grace & Co. pays an annual dividend of $0.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Sigma-Aldrich does not pay a dividend. W.R. Grace & Co. pays out 42.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Sigma-Aldrich has increased its dividend for 41 consecutive years.

Summary

W.R. Grace & Co. beats Sigma-Aldrich on 7 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

W.R. Grace & Co. Company Profile

W. R. Grace & Co. (Grace) is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials. The Company operates in two segments: Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment includes catalysts and related products and technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications. The Grace Materials Technologies segment includes specialty materials, including silica-based and silica-alumina-based materials, used in coatings, consumer, industrial, and pharmaceutical applications. It Grace Catalysts Technologies segment produces and sells catalysts and related products and technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications, including Fluid catalytic cracking catalysts (FCC), Hydroprocessing catalysts (HPC), and Polyolefin catalysts and catalyst supports.

Sigma-Aldrich Company Profile

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation is a life science and high technology company. The Company develops, manufactures, purchases and distributes a range of biochemical and organic chemical products, kits and services that are used in scientific research. It manufactures and distributes around 250,000 chemicals, biochemical and other essential products and approximately 46,000 equipment products. Its business unit structure is aligned into three business units: Research, Applied and SAFC Commercial. Its brands include Sigma-Aldrich, Sigma, Aldrich, Fluka, Riedel-de Haen, Supelco, SAFC, SAFC Biosciences, SAFC Hitech, Genosys, Proligo, Pharmorphix, Cerilliant, Vetec, BioReliance and Cell Marque. It offers its products and services to research and applied labs, pharmaceutical companies, universities, commercial laboratories, industrial companies, biotechnology companies and non-profit organizations, among others. It operates in around 37 countries and sells into approximately 160 countries.

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