Which is more compelling pick right now? – Perrigo Company plc (PRGO), Liberty Global plc (LBTYA)

The shares of Perrigo Company plc have decreased by more than -28.16% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -0.35% or -$0.22 and now trades at $62.62. The shares of Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYA), has slumped by -32.73% year to date as of 12/06/2018. The shares currently trade at $24.11 and have been able to report a change of -2.47% over the past one week.

The stock of Perrigo Company plc and Liberty Global plc 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.

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. PRGO has an EBITDA margin of 14.09%, this implies that the underlying business of LBTYA is more profitable. The ROI of PRGO is 3.30% while that of LBTYA is 2.60%. These figures suggest that PRGO ventures generate a higher ROI than that of LBTYA.

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, PRGO’s free cash flow per share is a positive 1.9, while that of LBTYA is positive 3.71.

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 PRGO is 1.90 and that of LBTYA is 0.40. This implies that it is easier for PRGO to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than LBTYA. The debt ratio of PRGO is 0.58 compared to 5.50 for LBTYA. LBTYA can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than PRGO.


PRGO currently trades at a forward P/E of 13.13, a P/B of 1.52, and a P/S of 1.82 while LBTYA trades at a P/B of 3.54, and a P/S of 1.20. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, PRGO 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 PRGO is currently at a -16.14% to its one-year price target of 74.67. Looking at its rival pricing, LBTYA is at a -31.19% relative to its price target of 35.04.

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), PRGO is given a 2.80 while 2.10 placed for LBTYA. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for PRGO 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 PRGO is 4.89 while that of LBTYA is just 3.03. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for LBTYA stock.


The stock of Perrigo Company plc defeats that of Liberty Global plc when the two are compared, with PRGO taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. PRGO 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, PRGO is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for PRGO is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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