OMNOVA Solutions (NYSE: OMN) and Versum Materials (NYSE:VSM) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, risk and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares OMNOVA Solutions and Versum Materials’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
OMNOVA Solutions -0.78% 22.71% 3.84%
Versum Materials 17.13% -457.02% 17.84%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

88.0% of OMNOVA Solutions shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.7% of Versum Materials shares are held by institutional investors. 4.8% of OMNOVA Solutions shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of Versum Materials shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Versum Materials pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. OMNOVA Solutions does not pay a dividend. Versum Materials pays out 11.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility and Risk

OMNOVA Solutions has a beta of 2.22, meaning that its share price is 122% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Versum Materials has a beta of 1.62, meaning that its share price is 62% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for OMNOVA Solutions and Versum Materials, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
OMNOVA Solutions 0 1 2 0 2.67
Versum Materials 0 4 6 0 2.60

OMNOVA Solutions currently has a consensus target price of $12.00, indicating a potential upside of 13.21%. Versum Materials has a consensus target price of $36.11, indicating a potential downside of 6.59%. Given OMNOVA Solutions’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe OMNOVA Solutions is more favorable than Versum Materials.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares OMNOVA Solutions and Versum Materials’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
OMNOVA Solutions $759.90 million 0.63 -$400,000.00 ($0.13) -81.54
Versum Materials $1.13 billion 3.73 $193.00 million $1.77 21.84

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

Summary

Versum Materials beats OMNOVA Solutions on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

OMNOVA Solutions Company Profile

OMNOVA Solutions Inc. is a provider of emulsion polymers, specialty chemicals and engineered surfaces for commercial, industrial and residential end uses. The Company’s segments include Performance Chemicals and Engineered Surfaces. The Performance Chemicals segment produces a range of emulsion polymers and specialty chemicals based on styrene butadiene, styrene butadiene acrylonitrile, styrene butadiene vinyl pyridine, nitrile butadiene, polyvinyl acetate, acrylic, styrene acrylic, vinyl acrylic, glyoxal, fluorochemical and bio-based chemistries. The Engineered Surfaces segment develops, designs, produces and markets a line of functional and decorative surfacing products, including coated fabrics, vinyl, paper, and specialty laminates and industrial films. The Performance Chemicals segment includes two product lines: Performance Materials and Specialty Chemicals, and the Engineered Surfaces segment includes two product lines: Coated Fabrics, and Laminates and Performance Films.

Versum Materials Company Profile

Versum Materials, Inc. is a provider of solutions to the semiconductor and display industries. The Company is engaged in the development, manufacturing, transportation and handling of specialty materials. Its segments include Materials; Delivery Systems and Services (DS&S), and Corporate. The Materials segment is an integrated provider of specialty materials for the electronics industry, focusing on the integrated circuit and flat-panel display markets. The DS&S segment designs, manufactures, installs, operates, and maintains chemical and gas delivery and distribution systems for specialty gases and chemicals delivered directly to its customers’ manufacturing tools. The Company is engaged in molecular design and synthesis, purification, advanced analytics, formulation development and containers and delivery systems for the handling of high purity materials.

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