Earnings

Which of 2 stocks would appeal to long-term investors? The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG), GrubHub Inc. (GRUB)

The shares of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. have increased by more than 16.42% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -2.33% or -$0.56 and now trades at $23.47. The shares of GrubHub Inc. (NYSE:GRUB), has jumped by 12.01% year to date as of 11/19/2018. The shares currently trade at $80.42 and have been able to report a change of -5.96% over the past one week.

The stock of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. and GrubHub Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Monday. 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: 7.50% versus 27.34%

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 IPG will grow it’s earning at a 7.50% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to GRUB which will have a positive growth at a 27.34% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of GRUB 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. IPG has an EBITDA margin of 14.02%, this implies that the underlying business of GRUB is more profitable. The ROI of IPG is 17.60% while that of GRUB is 5.10%. These figures suggest that IPG ventures generate a higher ROI than that of GRUB.

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, IPG’s free cash flow per share is a positive 1.32.

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 IPG is 1.20 and that of GRUB is 2.30. This implies that it is easier for IPG to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than GRUB. The debt ratio of IPG is 1.56 compared to 0.21 for GRUB. IPG can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than GRUB.

Valuation

IPG currently trades at a forward P/E of 12.96, a P/B of 4.20, and a P/S of 0.98 while GRUB trades at a forward P/E of 39.75, a P/B of 5.08, and a P/S of 7.89. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, IPG 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 IPG is currently at a -7.45% to its one-year price target of 25.36. Looking at its rival pricing, GRUB is at a -36.04% relative to its price target of 125.73.

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), IPG is given a 2.60 while 2.10 placed for GRUB. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for IPG 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 IPG is 3.99 while that of GRUB is just 3.85. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for GRUB stock.

Conclusion

The stock of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. defeats that of GrubHub Inc. when the two are compared, with IPG taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. IPG 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, IPG is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for IPG is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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