The shares of Flex Ltd. have decreased by more than -52.36% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -1.72% or -$0.15 and now trades at $8.57. The shares of Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE:DAR), has jumped by 19.80% year to date as of 11/08/2018. The shares currently trade at $21.72 and have been able to report a change of 2.94% over the past one week.
The stock of Flex Ltd. and Darling Ingredients 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: 15.37% versus 3.00%
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 FLEX will grow it’s earning at a 15.37% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to DAR which will have a positive growth at a 3.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of FLEX 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. FLEX has an EBITDA margin of 3.68%, this implies that the underlying business of DAR is more profitable. The ROI of FLEX is 9.30% while that of DAR is 4.30%. These figures suggest that FLEX ventures generate a higher ROI than that of DAR.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, FLEX’s free cash flow per share is a negative -4.76, while that of DAR is positive 0.49.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 FLEX is 1.20 and that of DAR is 1.90. This implies that it is easier for FLEX to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than DAR. The debt ratio of FLEX is 0.94 compared to 0.75 for DAR. FLEX can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than DAR.Valuation
FLEX currently trades at a forward P/E of 7.01, a P/B of 1.46, and a P/S of 0.17 while DAR trades at a forward P/E of 22.16, a P/B of 1.58, and a P/S of 1.00. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, FLEX 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 FLEX is currently at a -35.08% to its one-year price target of 13.20. Looking at its rival pricing, DAR is at a -6.74% relative to its price target of 23.29.
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), FLEX is given a 2.30 while 2.00 placed for DAR. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for FLEX 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 FLEX is 1.07 while that of DAR is just 3.57. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for FLEX stock.
The stock of Flex Ltd. defeats that of Darling Ingredients Inc. when the two are compared, with FLEX taking 7 out of the total factors that were been considered. FLEX 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, FLEX is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for FLEX is better on when it is viewed on short interest.