The shares of Albemarle Corporation have decreased by more than -18.05% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 2.39% or $2.45 and now trades at $104.80. The shares of Gran Tierra Energy Inc. (NYSE:GTE), has jumped by 26.30% year to date as of 05/17/2018. The shares currently trade at $3.41 and have been able to report a change of 2.40% over the past one week.

The stock of Albemarle Corporation and Gran Tierra Energy Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Thuday. 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: 12.62% 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 ALB will grow it’s earning at a 12.62% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to GTE which will have a positive growth at a 10.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of ALB 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. ALB has an EBITDA margin of 25.05%, this implies that the underlying business of ALB is more profitable. The ROI of ALB is 10.40% while that of GTE is -2.70%. These figures suggest that ALB ventures generate a higher ROI than that of GTE.

**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, ALB’s free cash flow per share is a negative -1.48.

**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 ALB is 2.50 and that of GTE is 1.70. This implies that it is easier for ALB to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than GTE. The debt ratio of ALB is 0.39 compared to 0.00 for GTE. ALB can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than GTE.

**Valuation**

ALB currently trades at a forward P/E of 17.95, a P/B of 3.05, and a P/S of 3.78 while GTE trades at a forward P/E of 9.27, a P/B of 1.40, and a P/S of 2.89. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, GTE 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 ALB is currently at a -18.67% to its one-year price target of 128.85. Looking at its rival pricing, GTE is at a -16.42% relative to its price target of 4.08.

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), ALB is given a 2.20 while 1.70 placed for GTE. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for ALB 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 ALB is 5.19 while that of GTE is just 3.11. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for GTE stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Albemarle Corporation defeats that of Gran Tierra Energy Inc. when the two are compared, with ALB taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. ALB 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, ALB is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for ALB is better on when it is viewed on short interest.