The shares of Ecopetrol S.A. have increased by more than 18.80% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 5.33% or $0.88 and now trades at $17.38. The shares of Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (NYSE:BZH), has slumped by -12.49% year to date as of 02/14/2018. The shares currently trade at $16.81 and have been able to report a change of -3.78% over the past one week.
The stock of Ecopetrol S.A. and Beazer Homes USA, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Wednesday. 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.
Next 5Y EPS Growth: 43.80% versus 4.00%
When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that EC will grow it’s earning at a 43.80% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to BZH which will have a positive growth at a 4.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of EC implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.
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. The ROI of EC is 3.80% while that of BZH is 2.30%. These figures suggest that EC ventures generate a higher ROI than that of BZH.
The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, EC’s free cash flow per share is a positive 277.69, while that of BZH is negative -5.79.
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 EC is 0.97 compared to 2.40 for BZH. BZH can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than EC.
EC currently trades at a forward P/E of 14.13, a P/B of 2.21, and a P/S of 1.87 while BZH trades at a forward P/E of 8.98, a P/B of 0.98, and a P/S of 0.29. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, BZH 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 EC is currently at a 47.91% to its one-year price target of 11.75. Looking at its rival pricing, BZH is at a -17.52% relative to its price target of 20.38. This figure implies that over the next one year, BZH 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), EC is given a 3.80 while 3.00 placed for BZH. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for EC 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 EC is 11.30 while that of BZH is just 1.99. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for BZH stock.
The stock of Ecopetrol S.A. defeats that of Beazer Homes USA, Inc. when the two are compared, with EC taking 7 out of the total factors that were been considered. EC 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, EC is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for EC is better on when it is viewed on short interest.