Air Products and Chemicals (NYSE: APD) and Methanex Corporation (NASDAQ:MEOH) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability and risk.

Dividends

Air Products and Chemicals pays an annual dividend of $3.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Methanex Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Air Products and Chemicals pays out 28.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Methanex Corporation pays out 47.8% 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. Air Products and Chemicals has increased its dividend for 34 consecutive years. Air Products and Chemicals is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.9% of Air Products and Chemicals shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 81.9% of Methanex Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of Air Products and Chemicals shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Methanex Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Air Products and Chemicals has a beta of 1.25, suggesting that its stock price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Methanex Corporation has a beta of 1.74, suggesting that its stock price is 74% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Air Products and Chemicals and Methanex Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Air Products and Chemicals 34.63% 17.23% 8.25%
Methanex Corporation 8.92% 12.43% 4.96%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Air Products and Chemicals and Methanex Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Air Products and Chemicals $9.95 billion 3.29 $3.18 billion $13.33 11.27
Methanex Corporation $2.58 billion 1.73 $572.88 million $2.51 20.64

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Air Products and Chemicals and Methanex Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Air Products and Chemicals 1 6 7 0 2.43
Methanex Corporation 1 4 8 0 2.54

Air Products and Chemicals currently has a consensus price target of $155.57, indicating a potential upside of 3.53%. Methanex Corporation has a consensus price target of $59.62, indicating a potential upside of 15.09%. Given Methanex Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Methanex Corporation is more favorable than Air Products and Chemicals.

Summary

Air Products and Chemicals beats Methanex Corporation on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Air Products and Chemicals

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., is an industrial gases company. The Company’s Industrial Gases business provides atmospheric and process gases and related equipment to manufacturing markets, including refining and petrochemical, metals, electronics, and food and beverage. The Company is also a supplier of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment. The Company operates through five segments: Industrial Gases-Americas, Industrial Gases-Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Industrial Gases-Asia, Industrial Gases-Global, and Corporate and other.

About Methanex Corporation

Methanex Corp is a Canada-based producer and supplier of methanol to a range of international markets. The Company operates production sites in Canada, Chile, Egypt, New Zealand, the United States, as well as Trinidad and Tobago. Its global operations are supported by a global supply chain of terminals, storage facilities and a fleet of methanol ocean tankers. The Company’s subsidiary, Waterfront Shipping Company Limited, operates its fleet, which is made up of over 20 vessels ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 deadweight tons of capacity. It has over three production facilities in New Zealand that supply methanol primarily to customers in Asia Pacific. The Company operates over two plants in Trinidad, Titan and Atlas, which supply methanol to markets in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South America. Its joint venture facility in Egypt supplies methanol to markets in Europe and Asia Pacific. Its plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, supplies methanol to customers in North America.

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