Aqua Metals (NASDAQ: AQMS) and Nexa Resources (NYSE:NEXA) are both business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends and institutional ownership.


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Nexa Resources pays an annual dividend of $0.47 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Aqua Metals does not pay a dividend. Nexa Resources pays out 32.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Aqua Metals and Nexa Resources’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aqua Metals $2.09 million 36.24 -$26.58 million ($1.31) -2.02
Nexa Resources $2.45 billion 0.86 $126.88 million $1.45 12.84

Nexa Resources has higher revenue and earnings than Aqua Metals. Aqua Metals is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Nexa Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

36.6% of Aqua Metals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 16.1% of Nexa Resources shares are held by institutional investors. 18.1% of Aqua Metals shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Aqua Metals and Nexa Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aqua Metals N/A -41.94% -33.00%
Nexa Resources 6.75% 5.81% 2.82%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Aqua Metals and Nexa Resources, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aqua Metals 0 0 6 0 3.00
Nexa Resources 0 0 6 0 3.00

Aqua Metals currently has a consensus target price of $17.83, indicating a potential upside of 575.51%. Nexa Resources has a consensus target price of $22.27, indicating a potential upside of 19.58%. Given Aqua Metals’ higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Aqua Metals is more favorable than Nexa Resources.


Nexa Resources beats Aqua Metals on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Aqua Metals

Aqua Metals, Inc. is engaged in the business of recycling lead through a process that the Company developed and named AquaRefining. The Company’s AquaRefining process focuses on providing for the recycling of lead acid batteries (LABs) and the production of lead. AquaRefining uses bio-degradable aqueous solvent and an ambient temperature electro-chemical process to produce lead. The modular nature of AquaRefining makes it possible to start LAB recycling at a much smaller scale than is possible with smelters. Its AquaRefining process begins with the crushing of used LABs and the separation of the metallic lead, active material (lead compounds), sulfuric acid and plastic for recycling. The active material is dissolved in its solvent. The primary lead is then stripped from the solvent using its automated process allowing the solvent to be reused continuously and indefinitely. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had not generated revenues.

About Nexa Resources

Nexa Resources S.A., through its subsidiaries, primarily produces, refines, processes, and sells zinc in Peru and Brazil. It explores, extracts, produces, and trades zinc, copper, and lead concentrates through its mining sites located in the regions of Pasco, Ica, and Moquegua in Peru. The company also has copper mining project located in the Conchucos District, Ancash Region; poly-metallic mining project located in the Ancash Region; and copper mining project located in the Huancavelica Region, as well as zinc mines in Vazante and Paracatu. In addition, it refines byproducts, such as sulfuric acid, copper, and silver. The company serves chemical, petrochemical, rubber, pulp, metallurgy, mining, agricultural, and other sectors; and exports its zinc to Europe and the Americas. The company was formerly known as VM Holding S.A. and changed its name to Nexa Resources S.A. in September 2017. The company was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Nexa Resources S.A. is a subsidiary of Votorantim S.A.

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