Which of 2 stocks would appeal to long-term investors? Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), ORBCOMM Inc. (ORBC)

The shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation have increased by more than 17.26% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -2.82% or -$6.34 and now trades at $218.24. The shares of ORBCOMM Inc. (NASDAQ:ORBC), has jumped by 4.81% year to date as of 08/09/2018. The shares currently trade at $10.67 and have been able to report a change of 3.09% over the past one week.

The stock of Costco Wholesale Corporation and ORBCOMM 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.

Next 5Y EPS Growth: 11.82% versus 20.00%

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 COST will grow it’s earning at a 11.82% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to ORBC which will have a positive growth at a 20.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of ORBC 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. COST has an EBITDA margin of 4.26%, this implies that the underlying business of COST is more profitable. The ROI of COST is 16.00% while that of ORBC is -13.00%. These figures suggest that COST ventures generate a higher ROI than that of ORBC.

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, COST’s free cash flow per share is a positive 1, while that of ORBC is negative -0.01.

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 COST is 1.00 and that of ORBC is 2.50. This implies that it is easier for COST to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than ORBC. The debt ratio of COST is 0.00 compared to 0.95 for ORBC. ORBC can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than COST.


COST currently trades at a forward P/E of 28.28, a P/B of 7.88, and a P/S of 0.69 while ORBC trades at a forward P/E of 260.24, a P/B of 3.20, and a P/S of 2.93. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, COST 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 COST is currently at a -1% to its one-year price target of 220.45. Looking at its rival pricing, ORBC is at a -22.46% relative to its price target of 13.76.

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), COST is given a 2.00 while 1.60 placed for ORBC. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for COST 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 COST is 3.43 while that of ORBC is just 10.00. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for COST stock.


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

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