Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL) and Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP) are both energy companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings and valuation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

61.4% of Trina Solar Limited shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 2.8% of Ballard Power Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Trina Solar Limited and Ballard Power Systems, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Trina Solar Limited 1 0 0 0 1.00
Ballard Power Systems 0 2 2 0 2.50

Ballard Power Systems has a consensus target price of $4.88, indicating a potential downside of 7.14%. Given Ballard Power Systems’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Ballard Power Systems is more favorable than Trina Solar Limited.

Profitability

This table compares Trina Solar Limited and Ballard Power Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Trina Solar Limited 3.48% N/A N/A
Ballard Power Systems -9.34% -6.74% -4.46%

Volatility & Risk

Trina Solar Limited has a beta of 1.06, indicating that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ballard Power Systems has a beta of 2.58, indicating that its share price is 158% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Trina Solar Limited and Ballard Power Systems’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Trina Solar Limited N/A N/A N/A $1.43 8.07
Ballard Power Systems $100.50 million 9.21 -$2.14 million ($0.07) -74.99

Trina Solar Limited has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Ballard Power Systems. Ballard Power Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Trina Solar Limited, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Trina Solar Limited Company Profile

Trina Solar Limited is an integrated solar power products manufacturer and solar system developer based in China with a global distribution network. The Company has integrated the manufacturing of ingots, wafers and solar cells for use in its photovoltaic (PV) module production. Its PV modules provide electric power for residential, commercial, industrial and other applications. It also develops, designs, constructs, operates and sells solar power projects that primarily use the solar modules it manufactures. It operates through two segments: manufacturing segment and the solar power projects segment. The manufacturing segment designs, develops, manufactures and sells PV modules, and integrates the manufacturing of ingots, wafers and solar cells for use in its PV module production. The solar power projects segment designs, constructs, operates and sells solar power projects in China, the United Kingdom, the United States and other European and Asian countries.

Ballard Power Systems Company Profile

Ballard Power Systems Inc. is engaged in the design, development, manufacture, sale and service of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell products for a range of applications, focusing on the power product markets of heavy-duty motive (consisting of bus and tram applications), portable power, material handling and backup power, as well as the delivery of technology solutions, including engineering services, technology transfer and the license and sale of its intellectual property portfolio and fundamental knowledge for a range of fuel cell applications. As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided products in four product classes, such as Fuel cell stacks, Fuel cell modules, Fuel cell systems and Power management systems. The Company provides FCgen and FCveloCity fuel cell stacks to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers and system integrators that use the stacks to produce fuel cell systems for power solutions.

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