Earnings

Are These Stocks A Sure Bet? – Intrepid Potash, Inc. (IPI), Altair Engineering Inc. (ALTR)

The shares of Intrepid Potash, Inc. have decreased by more than -2.31% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 7.39% or $0.32 and now trades at $4.65. The shares of Altair Engineering Inc. (NASDAQ:ALTR), has jumped by 40.26% year to date as of 05/15/2018. The shares currently trade at $33.55 and have been able to report a change of 9.82% over the past one week.

The stock of Intrepid Potash, Inc. and Altair Engineering Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Tueday. 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. IPI has an EBITDA margin of 21.79%, this implies that the underlying business of IPI is more profitable. The ROI of IPI is -2.50% while that of ALTR is -121.10%. These figures suggest that IPI ventures generate a higher ROI than that of ALTR.

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, IPI’s free cash flow per share is a positive 0.

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 IPI is 3.30 and that of ALTR is 0.70. This implies that it is easier for IPI to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than ALTR. The debt ratio of IPI is 0.15 compared to 0.01 for ALTR. IPI can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than ALTR.

Valuation

IPI currently trades at a forward P/E of 34.19, a P/B of 1.47, and a P/S of 3.61 while ALTR trades at a forward P/E of 71.84, a P/B of 32.26, and a P/S of 6.34. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, IPI 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 IPI is currently at a 17.42% to its one-year price target of 3.96. Looking at its rival pricing, ALTR is at a -0.83% relative to its price target of 33.83.




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), IPI is given a 3.40 while 2.30 placed for ALTR. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for IPI 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 IPI is 5.29 while that of ALTR is just 2.92. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for ALTR stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Altair Engineering Inc. defeats that of Intrepid Potash, Inc. when the two are compared, with ALTR taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. ALTR 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, ALTR is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for ALTR is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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