Basf (OTCMKTS:BASFY) and Univar (NYSE:UNVR) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Basf and Univar, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Basf 0 5 2 0 2.29
Univar 0 2 3 1 2.83

Univar has a consensus target price of $29.67, suggesting a potential downside of 2.92%. Given Univar’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Univar is more favorable than Basf.

Volatility & Risk

Basf has a beta of 1.16, suggesting that its share price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Univar has a beta of 1.2, suggesting that its share price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Basf and Univar’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Basf $72.83 billion 1.20 $6.87 billion $1.82 13.06
Univar $8.25 billion 0.52 $119.80 million $1.39 21.99

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

0.5% of Basf shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 91.5% of Univar shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Univar shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Basf pays an annual dividend of $0.66 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Univar does not pay a dividend. Basf pays out 36.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Basf and Univar’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Basf 9.32% 17.47% 7.70%
Univar 2.19% 19.85% 3.91%

Summary

Univar beats Basf on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Basf

BASF SE operates as a chemical company worldwide. It operates through five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions, and Oil & Gas. The Chemicals segment offers solvents, plasticizers, monomers, and glues, as well as raw materials for detergents, plastics, textile fibers, paints and coatings, crop protection products, and medicines. The Performance Products segment provides dispersions and pigments, care chemicals, nutrition and health products, and performance chemicals that are used in pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and cosmetics, as well as hygiene and household products; and other products for enhancing processes in the paper industry and water treatment, as well as in oil, gas, and ore extraction. The Functional Materials & Solutions segment offers catalysts, battery materials, engineering plastics, polyurethane systems, automotive coatings, surface treatment solutions, and concrete admixtures; and tile adhesives and decorative paints for the automotive, electrical, chemical, and construction industries, as well as for household, and sports and leisure applications. The Agricultural Solutions segment provides fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides, as well as functional crop care products. The Oil & Gas segment explores for and produces oil and gas in Europe, North Africa, Russia, South America, and the Middle East. It also produces ammonia; and transports natural gas in Europe. BASF SE was founded in 1865 and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany.

About Univar

Univar Inc. distributes commodity and specialty chemical products, and related services worldwide. It offers herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, seeds, micro and macro nutrients, horticultural products, fertilizers, and feeds; storage, packaging, and logistics services for crop protection companies, storing chemicals, feed-grade materials, and seed and equipment parties; and pest control products and equipment. The company also provides organic, inorganic, and polymer chemistries; enzymes, surfactants, solvents, dispersants, thickeners, bleaching aides, builders, sealants, acids, alkalis, and other chemicals for the manufacture of cleaning products; resins, pigments, solvents, thickeners, dispersants, and other additives; and epoxy resins, polyurethanes, titanium dioxides, fumed silica, esters, plasticizers, silicones, and specialty amines. In addition, it offers thickeners, emulsifiers, sweeteners, preservatives, leavening agents, and humectants, as well as texturizer and fat replacement products that include xanthan gum, locust bean gum, cellulosics, and guar gum; acidulants and alkalis; and supplements and related products. Further, the company provides chemicals and services, as well as specialty blended products for the energy sector; surfactants, emollients, emulsifiers, rheology modifiers, active ingredients, colors, preservatives, and processing aids for the personal care industry; pharmaceutical ingredients and products, such as aspirin, ascorbic acid, caffeine, and ibuprofen, as well as excipients, which include phosphates, polyethylene glycols, polysorbates, methylcellulose, stearyl alcohol, and stearates. Additionally, the company offers transportation and warehousing infrastructure, and chemicals and hazardous materials handling, as well as waste management services. It distributes its products through warehouse and direct-to-consumer delivery channels. Univar Inc. was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois.

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