Uncovering the next great stocks: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (HTZ)

The shares of Apple Inc. have increased by more than 3.58% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 0.57% or $0.99 and now trades at $175.28. The shares of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ), has jumped by 9.95% year to date as of 01/11/2018. The shares currently trade at $24.30 and have been able to report a change of 3.49% over the past one week.

The stock of Apple Inc. and Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Thursday. 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. AAPL has an EBITDA margin of 32.39%, this implies that the underlying business of AAPL is more profitable. The ROI of AAPL is 18.30% while that of HTZ is 0.50%. These figures suggest that AAPL ventures generate a higher ROI than that of HTZ.

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, AAPL’s free cash flow per share is a positive 3.64, while that of HTZ is negative -11.46.

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 debt ratio of AAPL is 0.86 compared to 18.38 for HTZ. HTZ can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than AAPL.


AAPL currently trades at a forward P/E of 14.38, a P/B of 6.73, and a P/S of 3.94 while HTZ trades at a P/B of 2.33, and a P/S of 0.23. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, AAPL 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 AAPL is currently at a -5.92% to its one-year price target of 186.30. Looking at its rival pricing, HTZ is at a 13.34% relative to its price target of 21.44. This figure implies that over the next one year, HTZ 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), AAPL is given a 1.80 while 3.10 placed for HTZ. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for HTZ 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 AAPL is 1.96 while that of HTZ is just 6.30. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for AAPL stock.


The stock of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. defeats that of Apple Inc. when the two are compared, with HTZ taking 3 out of the total factors that were been considered. HTZ 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, HTZ is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for HTZ is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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