The shares of Office Depot, Inc. have decreased by more than -29.10% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 4.15% or $0.1 and now trades at $2.51. The shares of Frontline Ltd. (NYSE:FRO), has slumped by -12.20% year to date as of 03/02/2018. The shares currently trade at $4.03 and have been able to report a change of -6.28% over the past one week.
The stock of Office Depot, Inc. and Frontline Ltd. were two of the most active stocks on Friday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.
Profitability and Returns
Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. ODP has an EBITDA margin of 5.47%, this implies that the underlying business of FRO is more profitable. The ROI of ODP is 3.10% while that of FRO is -6.40%. These figures suggest that ODP ventures generate a higher ROI than that of FRO.
The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, ODP’s free cash flow per share is a positive 1.91.
Liquidity and Financial Risk
The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The current ratio for ODP is 1.40 and that of FRO is 1.40. This implies that it is easier for ODP to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than FRO. The debt ratio of ODP is 0.85 compared to 1.58 for FRO. FRO can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than ODP.
ODP currently trades at a forward P/E of 6.18, a P/B of 0.64, and a P/S of 0.12 while FRO trades at a P/B of 0.58, and a P/S of 1.03. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, ODP is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.
Analyst Price Targets and Opinions
The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of ODP is currently at a -27.67% to its one-year price target of 3.47. Looking at its rival pricing, FRO is at a -19.88% relative to its price target of 5.03. This figure implies that over the next one year, FRO is a better investment.
When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), ODP is given a 3.00 while 3.10 placed for FRO. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for FRO stocks.
Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment
Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for ODP is 3.76 while that of FRO is just 7.02. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for ODP stock.
The stock of Frontline Ltd. defeats that of Office Depot, Inc. when the two are compared, with FRO taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. FRO happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, FRO is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for FRO is better on when it is viewed on short interest.