Rentech Nitrogen Partners (NYSE: RNF) and Lsb Industries (NYSE:LXU) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Rentech Nitrogen Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.71 per share and has a dividend yield of 15.0%. Lsb Industries does not pay a dividend. Rentech Nitrogen Partners pays out -65.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Rentech Nitrogen Partners has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Rentech Nitrogen Partners and Lsb Industries’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Rentech Nitrogen Partners -24.24% N/A -28.26%
Lsb Industries -12.19% -13.12% -4.97%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

66.1% of Lsb Industries shares are held by institutional investors. 25.8% of Lsb Industries shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Rentech Nitrogen Partners and Lsb Industries’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Rentech Nitrogen Partners N/A N/A N/A ($2.62) -4.35
Lsb Industries $374.58 million 0.67 $112.16 million ($3.10) -2.85

Lsb Industries has higher revenue and earnings than Rentech Nitrogen Partners. Rentech Nitrogen Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Lsb Industries, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Rentech Nitrogen Partners and Lsb Industries, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Rentech Nitrogen Partners 0 0 0 0 N/A
Lsb Industries 0 0 0 0 N/A

About Rentech Nitrogen Partners

East Dubuque Nitrogen Partners, L.P., formerly Rentech Nitrogen Partners, L.P., is a master limited partnership that owns and operates a fertilizer business. The Company operates through two business segments: East Dubuque and Pasadena. The Company owns and operates the East Dubuque Facility and its Pasadena Facility. The East Dubuque Facility produces ammonia, urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), liquid and granular urea, nitric acid and food-grade carbon dioxide, using natural gas as its primary feedstock. The East Dubuque Facility is located on approximately 210 acres in the northwest corner of Illinois on a 140-foot bluff above the Upper Mississippi River. The Pasadena Facility produces synthetic ammonium sulfate and ammonium sulfate. The Pasadena Facility also produces sulfuric acid and ammonium thiosulfate. The Pasadena Facility’s products are applied to various crops, including soybeans, potatoes, cotton, canola, alfalfa, corn and wheat.

About Lsb Industries

LSB Industries, Inc. is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the manufacture and sale of chemical products. The Company operates through chemical business segment. It is a manufacturer and distributor of nitrogen fertilizer and other nitrogen products in North America. Its principal nitrogen products are ammonia (AN), fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (high density ammonium nitrate prills used in the agricultural industry (HDAN)), urea ammonia nitrate (UAN), and AN solution for agricultural applications, high purity and commercial grade ammonia, high purity AN, sulfuric acids, concentrated, blended and regular nitric acid, mixed nitrating acids, carbon dioxide, and diesel exhaust fluid for industrial applications, and industrial grade AN (low density ammonium nitrate prills used in the mining industry (LDAN)) and 83% AN solution (AN solution) for the mining industry. Its customers include cooperatives and independent fertilizer distributors.

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