The shares of Univar Inc. have decreased by more than -26.13% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -0.78% or -$0.18 and now trades at $22.87. The shares of Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTW), has jumped by 21.57% year to date as of 11/08/2018. The shares currently trade at $53.83 and have been able to report a change of -21.40% over the past one week.
The stock of Univar Inc. and Weight Watchers International, 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: 22.57% versus 42.00%
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 UNVR will grow it’s earning at a 22.57% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to WTW which will have a positive growth at a 42.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of WTW 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. UNVR has an EBITDA margin of 7.2%, this implies that the underlying business of WTW is more profitable. The ROI of UNVR is 9.50% while that of WTW is 25.10%. These figures suggest that WTW ventures generate a higher ROI than that of UNVR.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, UNVR’s free cash flow per share is a positive 0.74, while that of WTW is positive 5.93.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 UNVR is 1.60 and that of WTW is 0.80. This implies that it is easier for UNVR to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than WTW.Valuation
UNVR currently trades at a forward P/E of 11.05, a P/B of 2.76, and a P/S of 0.38 while WTW trades at a forward P/E of 14.69, and a P/S of 3.41. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, UNVR 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 UNVR is currently at a -34.19% to its one-year price target of 34.75. Looking at its rival pricing, WTW is at a -49.22% relative to its price target of 106.00.
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), UNVR is given a 1.90 while 2.00 placed for WTW. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for WTW 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 UNVR is 3.98 while that of WTW is just 3.15. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for WTW stock.
The stock of Univar Inc. defeats that of Weight Watchers International, Inc. when the two are compared, with UNVR taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. UNVR 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, UNVR is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for UNVR is better on when it is viewed on short interest.