Which of these 2 stocks can turn out to be absolute gem? – Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC), Flotek Industries, Inc. (FTK)

The shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation have increased by more than 14.94% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 4.03% or $2.94 and now trades at $75.84. The shares of Flotek Industries, Inc. (NYSE:FTK), has slumped by -16.09% year to date as of 05/02/2018. The shares currently trade at $3.91 and have been able to report a change of 0.26% over the past one week.

The stock of Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Flotek Industries, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Wedday. 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: 26.08% versus 10.00%

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 MPC will grow it’s earning at a 26.08% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to FTK which will have a positive growth at a 10.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of MPC 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. MPC has an EBITDA margin of 8.14%, this implies that the underlying business of MPC is more profitable. The ROI of MPC is 10.90% while that of FTK is -1.50%. These figures suggest that MPC ventures generate a higher ROI than that of FTK.

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, MPC’s free cash flow per share is a positive 2.26.

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 MPC is 1.30 and that of FTK is 2.10. This implies that it is easier for MPC to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than FTK. The debt ratio of MPC is 0.92 compared to 0.11 for FTK. MPC can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than FTK.


MPC currently trades at a forward P/E of 12.49, a P/B of 2.63, and a P/S of 0.49 while FTK trades at a forward P/E of 27.93, a P/B of 0.84, and a P/S of 0.74. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, MPC 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 MPC is currently at a -9.9% to its one-year price target of 84.17. Looking at its rival pricing, FTK is at a -51.13% relative to its price target of 8.00.

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), MPC is given a 1.90 while 2.00 placed for FTK. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for FTK 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 MPC is 2.07 while that of FTK is just 9.17. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for MPC stock.


The stock of Flotek Industries, Inc. defeats that of Marathon Petroleum Corporation when the two are compared, with FTK taking 4 out of the total factors that were been considered. FTK 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, FTK is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for FTK is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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