Which of 2 stocks would appeal to long-term investors? ConocoPhillips (COP), Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR)

The shares of ConocoPhillips have increased by more than 26.78% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 0.22% or $0.15 and now trades at $69.59. The shares of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE:QSR), has slumped by -7.19% year to date as of 05/14/2018. The shares currently trade at $57.06 and have been able to report a change of 4.66% over the past one week.

The stock of ConocoPhillips and Restaurant Brands International 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. COP has an EBITDA margin of 19.65%, this implies that the underlying business of QSR is more profitable. These figures suggest that QSR ventures generate a higher ROI than that of COP.

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, COP’s free cash flow per share is a positive 1.58, while that of QSR is negative -3.04.


COP currently trades at a forward P/E of 19.31, a P/B of 2.69, and a P/S of 2.67 while QSR trades at a forward P/E of 19.15, a P/B of 6.25, and a P/S of 2.94. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, COP 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 COP is currently at a -1.39% to its one-year price target of 70.57. Looking at its rival pricing, QSR is at a -19.06% relative to its price target of 70.50.

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), COP is given a 2.20 while 2.30 placed for QSR. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for QSR 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 COP is 2.81 while that of QSR is just 4.03. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for COP stock.


The stock of ConocoPhillips defeats that of Restaurant Brands International Inc. when the two are compared, with COP taking 7 out of the total factors that were been considered. COP 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, COP is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for COP is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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