Reviewing Verenium (VRNM) & Celanese (CE)

Verenium (NASDAQ: VRNM) and Celanese (NYSE:CE) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Verenium and Celanese, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Verenium 0 0 0 0 N/A
Celanese 1 5 10 1 2.65

Celanese has a consensus target price of $108.00, indicating a potential downside of 4.39%. Given Celanese’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Celanese is more favorable than Verenium.

Profitability

This table compares Verenium and Celanese’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Verenium N/A N/A N/A
Celanese 13.66% 31.98% 11.39%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

96.1% of Celanese shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of Celanese shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Verenium and Celanese’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Verenium N/A N/A N/A ($1.56) -2.56
Celanese $5.39 billion 2.84 $900.00 million $5.82 19.41

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

Volatility and Risk

Verenium has a beta of 0.83, indicating that its stock price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Celanese has a beta of 1.32, indicating that its stock price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Celanese pays an annual dividend of $1.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Verenium does not pay a dividend. Celanese pays out 31.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Verenium has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Summary

Celanese beats Verenium on 13 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Verenium

Verenium Corporation (Verenium) is an industrial biotechnology company. The Company develops and commercializes enzymes for use in a range of industrial processes. It manufactures and markets its enzyme products in the fields of animal health and nutrition, grain processing, oilfield services and other industrial processes, such as pulp and paper and textiles. As of December 31, 2012, it marketed commercial enzyme products, either independently or in collaboration with its partners. In addition, it has developed a pipeline of enzyme product candidates. Its products are organized into four product lines: animal health and nutrition, grain processing, oilfield services and other industrial processes. As of December 31, 2012, it markets nine commercial enzyme products. In October 2013, BASF SE acquired 71% stake in the Company.

About Celanese

Celanese Corporation (Celanese) is a technology and specialty materials company. The Company’s segments include Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties, Acetyl Intermediates and Other Activities. The Advanced Engineered Materials segment includes the Company’s engineered materials business and certain affiliates. The Consumer Specialties segment includes the Company’s cellulose derivatives and food ingredients businesses, which serve consumer-driven applications. The Industrial Specialties segment includes the Company’s emulsion polymers and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) polymers businesses. The Acetyl Intermediates segment includes the Company’s intermediate chemistry business, which produces and supplies acetyl products, including acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), acetic anhydride and acetate esters. The Company has operations in North America, Europe and Asia. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had 30 global production facilities.

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