Ecolab (NYSE: ECL) and Orion Engineered Carbons S.A (NYSE:OEC) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, valuation, dividends, profitability, earnings and institutional ownership.

Risk & Volatility

Ecolab has a beta of 0.98, meaning that its stock price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Orion Engineered Carbons S.A has a beta of 0.52, meaning that its stock price is 48% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Ecolab and Orion Engineered Carbons S.A’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ecolab 9.66% 18.93% 6.97%
Orion Engineered Carbons S.A 4.12% 148.13% 8.81%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ecolab and Orion Engineered Carbons S.A’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ecolab $13.36 billion 2.83 $2.89 billion $4.38 29.81
Orion Engineered Carbons S.A $1.37 billion 1.00 $269.86 million $0.85 27.06

Ecolab has higher revenue and earnings than Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. Orion Engineered Carbons S.A is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ecolab, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

75.4% of Ecolab shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 37.2% of Orion Engineered Carbons S.A shares are held by institutional investors. 1.5% of Ecolab shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Ecolab pays an annual dividend of $1.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Orion Engineered Carbons S.A pays an annual dividend of $0.81 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Ecolab pays out 33.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Orion Engineered Carbons S.A pays out 95.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Orion Engineered Carbons S.A has raised its dividend for 31 consecutive years. Orion Engineered Carbons S.A is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Ecolab and Orion Engineered Carbons S.A, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ecolab 0 8 6 0 2.43
Orion Engineered Carbons S.A 0 1 2 0 2.67

Ecolab currently has a consensus target price of $132.67, indicating a potential upside of 1.61%. Orion Engineered Carbons S.A has a consensus target price of $23.33, indicating a potential upside of 1.45%. Given Ecolab’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Ecolab is more favorable than Orion Engineered Carbons S.A.

Summary

Ecolab beats Orion Engineered Carbons S.A on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ecolab

Ecolab Inc. provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries. Its segments include Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, Other and Corporate. Its Global Industrial segment consists of the Water, Food and Beverage, Paper and Textile Care operating units. Its Global Institutional segment consists of the Institutional, Specialty and Healthcare operating units. The Global Energy segment provides on-site and technology-driven solutions to the global drilling, oil and gas production, refining, and petrochemical industries. The Company’s Other segment consists of the Pest Elimination and Equipment Care operating units.

About Orion Engineered Carbons S.A

Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. is a producer of carbon black. The Company operates through two segments: Specialty Carbon Black and Rubber Carbon Black. The Specialty Carbon Black segment is engaged in the production of specialty carbon black. The Rubber Carbon Black segment is involved in the production of rubber carbon black. As of December 31, 2016, it operated a diversified carbon black business with over 280 specialty carbon black grades and approximately 80 rubber carbon black grades. Carbon black is used as a pigment and as a performance additive in coatings, polymers, printing and special applications (specialty carbon black), and in the reinforcement of rubber in tires and mechanical rubber goods (rubber carbon black). As of December 31, 2016, it operated a global platform of 13 production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia and South Africa and three sales companies, as well as one jointly-owned production plant in Germany.

Receive News & Ratings for Ecolab Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Ecolab Inc. and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.