Sensient Technologies (NYSE: SXT) and Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, dividends and profitability.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

88.6% of Sensient Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.5% of Huntsman Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Sensient Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 19.0% of Huntsman Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Sensient Technologies has a beta of 1.08, indicating that its share price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Huntsman Corporation has a beta of 2.87, indicating that its share price is 187% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Sensient Technologies and Huntsman Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sensient Technologies $1.38 billion 2.37 $126.25 million $2.42 31.11
Huntsman Corporation $9.66 billion 0.75 $326.00 million $2.13 14.20

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

Dividends

Sensient Technologies pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Huntsman Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Sensient Technologies pays out 54.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Huntsman Corporation pays out 23.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Sensient Technologies has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Sensient Technologies is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Sensient Technologies and Huntsman Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sensient Technologies 9.11% 14.66% 7.52%
Huntsman Corporation 5.37% 30.64% 6.06%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Sensient Technologies and Huntsman Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sensient Technologies 0 0 2 0 3.00
Huntsman Corporation 0 1 8 0 2.89

Sensient Technologies presently has a consensus target price of $89.15, suggesting a potential upside of 18.41%. Huntsman Corporation has a consensus target price of $31.33, suggesting a potential upside of 3.62%. Given Sensient Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Sensient Technologies is more favorable than Huntsman Corporation.

Summary

Sensient Technologies beats Huntsman Corporation on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sensient Technologies Company Profile

Sensient Technologies Corporation is a manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors and fragrances. The Company uses technologies at facilities around the world to develop specialty food and beverage systems, cosmetic and pharmaceutical systems, specialty inks and colors, and other specialty and fine chemicals. The Company’s three segments include the Flavors & Fragrances Group and the Color Group, which are managed on a product-and-services basis, and the Asia Pacific Group, which is managed on a geographic basis. The Company’s principal products include flavors, flavor enhancers and bionutrients; fragrances, aroma chemicals and essential oils; natural ingredients, including dehydrated vegetables and other food ingredients; natural and synthetic food and beverage colors; cosmetic colors and ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients and ingredients, and technical colors, specialty inks and colors, and specialty dyes and pigments.

Huntsman Corporation Company Profile

Huntsman Corporation is a manufacturer of differentiated organic chemical products and of inorganic chemical products. The Company operates all of its businesses through its subsidiary, Huntsman International LLC (Huntsman International). The Company operates through five segments: Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials, Textile Effects, and Pigments and Additives. Its Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials and Textile Effects segments produce differentiated organic chemical products and its Pigments and Additives segment produces inorganic chemical products. The Company’s products are used in a range of applications, including those in the adhesives, aerospace, automotive, construction products, personal care and hygiene, durable and non-durable consumer products, digital inks, electronics, medical, packaging, paints and coatings, power generation, refining, synthetic fiber, textile chemicals and dye industries.

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