The shares of Quanta Services, Inc. have decreased by more than -16.52% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -2.57% or -$0.86 and now trades at $32.65. The shares of Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR), has slumped by -10.73% year to date as of 12/06/2018. The shares currently trade at $35.02 and have been able to report a change of 2.19% over the past one week.
The stock of Quanta Services, Inc. and Aqua America, 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: 22.37% versus 5.00%
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 PWR will grow it’s earning at a 22.37% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to WTR which will have a positive growth at a 5.00% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of PWR 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. PWR has an EBITDA margin of 5.85%, this implies that the underlying business of WTR is more profitable. The ROI of PWR is 6.10% while that of WTR is 7.70%. These figures suggest that WTR ventures generate a higher ROI than that of PWR.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, PWR’s free cash flow per share is a negative -0.35, while that of WTR is also a negative -0.01.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 PWR is 1.90 and that of WTR is 0.50. This implies that it is easier for PWR to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than WTR. The debt ratio of PWR is 0.26 compared to 1.17 for WTR. WTR can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than PWR.Valuation
PWR currently trades at a forward P/E of 10.19, a P/B of 1.30, and a P/S of 0.44 while WTR trades at a forward P/E of 23.55, a P/B of 3.05, and a P/S of 7.46. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, PWR 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 PWR is currently at a -28.24% to its one-year price target of 45.50. Looking at its rival pricing, WTR is at a -6.46% relative to its price target of 37.44.
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), PWR is given a 1.80 while 2.40 placed for WTR. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for WTR 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 PWR is 3.81 while that of WTR is just 7.74. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for PWR stock.
The stock of Aqua America, Inc. defeats that of Quanta Services, Inc. when the two are compared, with WTR taking 4 out of the total factors that were been considered. WTR 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, WTR is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for WTR is better on when it is viewed on short interest.