Element Solutions (NYSE:ESI) and Platform Specialty Products (NYSE:PAH) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Element Solutions and Platform Specialty Products’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Element Solutions -10.98% 6.60% 1.66%
Platform Specialty Products -14.14% 8.48% 2.23%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Element Solutions and Platform Specialty Products, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Element Solutions 0 2 0 0 2.00
Platform Specialty Products 0 4 2 0 2.33

Element Solutions currently has a consensus target price of $9.75, suggesting a potential downside of 11.60%. Platform Specialty Products has a consensus target price of $13.25, suggesting a potential upside of 17.78%. Given Platform Specialty Products’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Platform Specialty Products is more favorable than Element Solutions.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

94.5% of Platform Specialty Products shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.8% of Element Solutions shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.4% of Platform Specialty Products shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Element Solutions has a beta of 2.32, meaning that its stock price is 132% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Platform Specialty Products has a beta of 2.59, meaning that its stock price is 159% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Element Solutions and Platform Specialty Products’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Element Solutions $1.96 billion 1.42 -$324.40 million $0.14 78.79
Platform Specialty Products $3.78 billion 0.86 -$296.20 million $0.76 14.80

Platform Specialty Products has higher revenue and earnings than Element Solutions. Platform Specialty Products is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Element Solutions, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Platform Specialty Products beats Element Solutions on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Element Solutions

Element Solutions Inc produces and sells specialty chemical products worldwide. It offers a range of specialty chemicals, such as surface and coating materials, functional conversion coatings, electronic assembly materials, water-based hydraulic control fluids, and photopolymers. The company was formerly known as Platform Specialty Products Corporation and changed its name to Element Solutions Inc in January 2019. Element Solutions Inc was founded in 1922 and is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida.

About Platform Specialty Products

Platform Specialty Products Corp. engages in the provision of technology chemical products and technical services. It operates its business through the Performance Solutions and Agricultural Solutions segments. The Performance Solutions segment formulates and markets chemistry solutions that are used in production, commercial packaging and printing, electronics, and oil and gas production and drilling. The Agricultural Solutions segment is based on a solutions-oriented business model that focuses on its product improvement address an ever increasing need for higher crop yield and quality. The company was founded by Martin E. Franklin on April 23, 2013 and is headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL.

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