Financial Contrast: Albemarle (ALB) & PQ Group (PQG)

Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) and PQ Group (NYSE:PQG) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Albemarle and PQ Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Albemarle $2.68 billion 4.45 $643.67 million $2.80 38.47
PQ Group $1.06 billion 1.84 -$79.74 million $0.02 722.00

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

Profitability

This table compares Albemarle and PQ Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Albemarle 30.07% 11.61% 5.99%
PQ Group N/A N/A N/A

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Albemarle and PQ Group, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Albemarle 0 7 13 0 2.65
PQ Group 0 3 7 0 2.70

Albemarle currently has a consensus price target of $125.18, suggesting a potential upside of 16.21%. PQ Group has a consensus price target of $19.75, suggesting a potential upside of 36.77%. Given PQ Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe PQ Group is more favorable than Albemarle.

Dividends

Albemarle pays an annual dividend of $1.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. PQ Group does not pay a dividend. Albemarle pays out 45.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. PQ Group has increased its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

88.2% of Albemarle shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.3% of PQ Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Albemarle shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Albemarle beats PQ Group on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Albemarle

Albemarle Corporation is a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals. The Company operates through three segments: Lithium and Advanced Materials, Bromine Specialties and Refining Solutions. Lithium and Advanced Materials segment consist of two product categories: Lithium and Performance Catalyst Solutions. The bromine and bromine-based business includes products used in fire safety solutions and other specialty chemicals applications. The Company serves various end markets, including petroleum refining, consumer electronics, energy storage, construction, automotive, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food safety and custom chemistry services. As of December 31, 2016, the Company and its joint ventures operated 31 production and research and development (R&D) facilities, as well as a number of administrative and sales offices, around the world.

About PQ Group

PQ Group Holdings Inc is a global provider of catalysts, specialty materials, chemicals and services that enable environmental improvements. The Company’s products and solutions help companies produce vehicles with fuel efficiency. The Company has developed zeolite-based catalysts to reduce pollutants in diesel engines. The Company’s segments include environmental catalysts and services, and performance materials and chemicals. Environmental catalysts and services segment has three product groups, including silica catalysts, zeolite catalysts, and refining services. Silica catalysts product group sells both the finished catalyst and catalysts supports, for the production of high-density polyethylene (HDPE).zeolite catalysts product group is a supplier of emissions control catalysts as well as a supplier of specialty catalysts, precursors, and formulations. Performance materials and chemicals segment has two product groups, including performance materials and performance chemicals.

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