Willdan Group (NASDAQ: WLDN) and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE:RBA) are both construction companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, dividends, risk and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Willdan Group and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Willdan Group 3.90% 18.91% 8.82%
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers 8.96% 14.72% 6.14%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Willdan Group and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Willdan Group 0 0 3 0 3.00
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers 2 5 4 0 2.18

Willdan Group currently has a consensus target price of $37.67, indicating a potential upside of 27.25%. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has a consensus target price of $30.67, indicating a potential upside of 6.67%. Given Willdan Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Willdan Group is more favorable than Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.

Dividends

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers pays an annual dividend of $0.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Willdan Group does not pay a dividend. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers pays out 144.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has increased its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

57.2% of Willdan Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.2% of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers shares are owned by institutional investors. 13.3% of Willdan Group shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Willdan Group and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Willdan Group $256.27 million 1.00 $15.86 million $1.12 26.43
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers $566.33 million 5.44 $203.46 million $0.47 61.17

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has higher revenue and earnings than Willdan Group. Willdan Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Willdan Group has a beta of 1.3, indicating that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers has a beta of 0.57, indicating that its share price is 43% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers beats Willdan Group on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Willdan Group

Willdan Group, Inc. is a holding company. The Company provides professional technical and consulting services to utilities, private industry and public agencies at all levels of government, primarily in California and New York. It operates through four segments: Energy Efficiency Services, Engineering Services, Public Finance Services and Homeland Security Services. The Energy Efficiency Services segment provides energy efficiency consulting services to utilities, state agencies, municipalities, private industry and non-profit organizations. The Engineering Services segment offers a range of engineering and planning services to its public and private sector clients. The Public Finance Services segment provides support for the various financing techniques employed by public agencies to finance their operations and infrastructure. The Homeland Security Services segment provides national preparedness, homeland security consulting, public safety and emergency response services.

About Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc is a Canada-based holding company. The Company is an industrial auctioneer and used equipment distributor, selling used equipment and other assets. Its segments include Core Auction, which is a network of auction locations that conduct live, unreserved auctions with both on-site and online bidding, and Other, which includes its EquipmentOne and Mascus International Holding B.V. (Mascus) online services. EquipmentOne is an online marketplace that equipment sellers can navigate independently. EquipmentOne facilitates the completion of sales through a settlement process managed by EquipmentOne that protects both the seller and the buyer. Mascus is an online equipment listing service for used heavy machinery and trucks. It offers subscriptions to equipment dealers, brokers, exporters and equipment manufacturers to list equipment available for sale at a listed price. The Company, through Mascus, provides online advertising services, business tools and solutions.

Receive News & Ratings for Willdan Group Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Willdan Group Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.