The shares of Graco Inc. have decreased by more than -13.09% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -3.37% or -$1.37 and now trades at $39.30. The shares of Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFPT), has jumped by 8.61% year to date as of 10/11/2018. The shares currently trade at $96.46 and have been able to report a change of -2.55% over the past one week.
The stock of Graco Inc. and Proofpoint, 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: 10.00% versus 15.00%
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 GGG will grow it’s earning at a 10.00% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to PFPT which will have a positive growth at a 15.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of PFPT 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. GGG has an EBITDA margin of 28.27%, this implies that the underlying business of GGG is more profitable. The ROI of GGG is 31.50% while that of PFPT is -12.40%. These figures suggest that GGG ventures generate a higher ROI than that of PFPT.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, GGG’s free cash flow per share is a positive 4.65.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 GGG is 2.70 and that of PFPT is 0.60. This implies that it is easier for GGG to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than PFPT. The debt ratio of GGG is 0.43 compared to 0.69 for PFPT. PFPT can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than GGG.Valuation
GGG currently trades at a forward P/E of 19.81, a P/B of 9.23, and a P/S of 4.18 while PFPT trades at a forward P/E of 57.01, a P/B of 16.55, and a P/S of 8.00. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, GGG 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 GGG is currently at a -18.13% to its one-year price target of 48.00. Looking at its rival pricing, PFPT is at a -30.37% relative to its price target of 138.54.
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), GGG is given a 3.00 while 1.80 placed for PFPT. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for GGG 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 GGG is 5.69 while that of PFPT is just 2.21. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for PFPT stock.
The stock of Proofpoint, Inc. defeats that of Graco Inc. when the two are compared, with PFPT taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. PFPT 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, PFPT is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for PFPT is better on when it is viewed on short interest.