A Comparison of Top Movers: Arconic Inc. (ARNC), Superior Energy Services, Inc. (SPN)

The shares of Arconic Inc. have decreased by more than -32.77% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 0.55% or $0.1 and now trades at $18.32. The shares of Superior Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE:SPN), has jumped by 17.24% year to date as of 05/14/2018. The shares currently trade at $11.29 and have been able to report a change of 2.73% over the past one week.

The stock of Arconic Inc. and Superior Energy Services, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Monday. 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. ARNC has an EBITDA margin of 10.32%, this implies that the underlying business of ARNC is more profitable. The ROI of ARNC is 0.50% while that of SPN is -6.60%. These figures suggest that ARNC ventures generate a higher ROI than that of SPN.

Cash Flow

The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, ARNC’s free cash flow per share is a negative -4.32, while that of SPN is also a negative -4.86.

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 ARNC is 2.10 and that of SPN is 1.90. This implies that it is easier for ARNC to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than SPN. The debt ratio of ARNC is 1.22 compared to 1.19 for SPN. ARNC can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than SPN.


ARNC currently trades at a forward P/E of 11.49, a P/B of 1.69, and a P/S of 0.67 while SPN trades at a P/B of 1.61, and a P/S of 0.89. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, ARNC 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 ARNC is currently at a -35.58% to its one-year price target of 28.44. Looking at its rival pricing, SPN is at a -11.66% relative to its price target of 12.78.

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), ARNC is given a 2.40 while 2.30 placed for SPN. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for ARNC 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 ARNC is 2.52 while that of SPN is just 3.75. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for ARNC stock.


The stock of Superior Energy Services, Inc. defeats that of Arconic Inc. when the two are compared, with SPN taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. SPN 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, SPN is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for SPN is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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