Allegheny Technologies (NYSE: ATI) and Aqua Metals (NASDAQ:AQMS) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Allegheny Technologies and Aqua Metals, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Allegheny Technologies 0 5 3 0 2.38
Aqua Metals 0 0 6 0 3.00

Allegheny Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $20.57, suggesting a potential downside of 18.30%. Aqua Metals has a consensus price target of $28.60, suggesting a potential upside of 620.40%. Given Aqua Metals’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Aqua Metals is more favorable than Allegheny Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares Allegheny Technologies and Aqua Metals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Allegheny Technologies -2.45% 1.09% 0.31%
Aqua Metals N/A -35.51% -27.81%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

43.3% of Aqua Metals shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.1% of Allegheny Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 19.7% of Aqua Metals shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Allegheny Technologies and Aqua Metals’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Allegheny Technologies $3.31 billion 0.83 $295.80 million ($0.78) -32.28
Aqua Metals $602,999.00 132.76 -$15.80 million ($1.21) -3.28

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

Risk and Volatility

Allegheny Technologies has a beta of 2.44, indicating that its share price is 144% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aqua Metals has a beta of 1.24, indicating that its share price is 24% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Aqua Metals beats Allegheny Technologies on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Allegheny Technologies

Allegheny Technologies Incorporated is a manufacturer of specialty materials and complex components. The Company operates through two business segments: High Performance Materials & Components (HPMC), and Flat Rolled Products (FRP). The HPMC segment produces, converts and distributes a range of materials, including titanium and titanium-based alloys, nickel- and cobalt-based alloys and superalloys, zirconium and related alloys, including hafnium and niobium, advanced powder alloys and other specialty materials, in long product forms, such as ingot, billet, bar, rod, wire, shapes and rectangles, and seamless tubes, plus precision forgings, castings, components and machined parts. The FRP segment produces, converts and distributes stainless steel, nickel-based alloys, specialty alloys, and titanium and titanium-based alloys, in a range of product forms, including plate, sheet, engineered strip, and Precision Rolled Strip products.

About Aqua Metals

Aqua Metals, Inc. is engaged in the business of recycling lead through a process that the Company developed and named AquaRefining. The Company’s AquaRefining process focuses on providing for the recycling of lead acid batteries (LABs) and the production of lead. AquaRefining uses bio-degradable aqueous solvent and an ambient temperature electro-chemical process to produce lead. The modular nature of AquaRefining makes it possible to start LAB recycling at a much smaller scale than is possible with smelters. Its AquaRefining process begins with the crushing of used LABs and the separation of the metallic lead, active material (lead compounds), sulfuric acid and plastic for recycling. The active material is dissolved in its solvent. The primary lead is then stripped from the solvent using its automated process allowing the solvent to be reused continuously and indefinitely. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had not generated revenues.

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