The shares of Broadcom Inc. have decreased by more than -15.69% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -1.31% or -$2.88 and now trades at $216.58. The shares of EP Energy Corporation (NYSE:EPE), has slumped by -22.03% year to date as of 08/09/2018. The shares currently trade at $1.84 and have been able to report a change of -10.24% over the past one week.

The stock of Broadcom Inc. and EP Energy Corporation 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. AVGO has an EBITDA margin of 37.32%, this implies that the underlying business of EPE is more profitable. The ROI of AVGO is 5.80% while that of EPE is 3.00%. These figures suggest that AVGO ventures generate a higher ROI than that of EPE.

**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, AVGO’s free cash flow per share is a positive 4.09, while that of EPE is negative -8.25.

**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 AVGO is 5.90 and that of EPE is 0.50. This implies that it is easier for AVGO to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than EPE. The debt ratio of AVGO is 0.55 compared to 10.06 for EPE. EPE can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than AVGO.

**Valuation**

AVGO currently trades at a forward P/E of 10.53, a P/B of 2.84, and a P/S of 4.74 while EPE trades at a forward P/E of 23.90, a P/B of 1.11, and a P/S of 0.47. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, AVGO 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 AVGO is currently at a -24.92% to its one-year price target of 288.45. Looking at its rival pricing, EPE is at a -35.21% relative to its price target of 2.84.

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), AVGO is given a 2.10 while 3.20 placed for EPE. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for EPE 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 AVGO is 1.32 while that of EPE is just 6.83. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for AVGO stock.

Conclusion

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