Earnings

Which of these 2 stocks can turn out to be absolute gem? – Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (LEG), Realogy Holdings Corp. (RLGY)

The shares of Leggett & Platt, Incorporated have decreased by more than -19.55% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -4.38% or -$1.76 and now trades at $38.40. The shares of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE:RLGY), has slumped by -30.11% year to date as of 12/04/2018. The shares currently trade at $18.52 and have been able to report a change of -2.27% over the past one week.

The stock of Leggett & Platt, Incorporated and Realogy Holdings Corp. were two of the most active stocks on Tuesday. 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: 6.20% 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 LEG will grow it’s earning at a 6.20% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to RLGY which will have a positive growth at a 20.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of RLGY 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. LEG has an EBITDA margin of 14.46%, this implies that the underlying business of LEG is more profitable. The ROI of LEG is 15.50% while that of RLGY is 6.90%. These figures suggest that LEG ventures generate a higher ROI than that of RLGY.

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, LEG’s free cash flow per share is a positive 0.89, while that of RLGY is positive 2.82.

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 LEG is 2.10 and that of RLGY is 0.60. This implies that it is easier for LEG to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than RLGY. The debt ratio of LEG is 1.16 compared to 1.56 for RLGY. RLGY can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than LEG.

Valuation

LEG currently trades at a forward P/E of 14.29, a P/B of 4.41, and a P/S of 1.19 while RLGY trades at a forward P/E of 10.23, a P/B of 0.93, and a P/S of 0.36. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, RLGY 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 LEG is currently at a -11.05% to its one-year price target of 43.17. Looking at its rival pricing, RLGY is at a -11.81% relative to its price target of 21.00.

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), LEG is given a 2.10 while 3.00 placed for RLGY. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for RLGY 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 LEG is 7.26 while that of RLGY is just 8.46. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for LEG stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Leggett & Platt, Incorporated defeats that of Realogy Holdings Corp. when the two are compared, with LEG taking 7 out of the total factors that were been considered. LEG 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, LEG is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for LEG is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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