Cemex (NYSE: CX) and GCP Applied Technologies (NYSE:GCP) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and dividends.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

42.8% of Cemex shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 81.6% of GCP Applied Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Cemex shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of GCP Applied Technologies shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Cemex and GCP Applied Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cemex 8.38% 8.71% 3.10%
GCP Applied Technologies 56.84% 124.93% 3.91%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Cemex and GCP Applied Technologies’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cemex $13.40 billion 0.85 $752.16 million $0.59 13.25
GCP Applied Technologies $1.36 billion 1.64 $72.80 million ($0.54) -57.31

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Cemex and GCP Applied Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cemex 0 3 4 1 2.75
GCP Applied Technologies 0 1 4 0 2.80

Cemex currently has a consensus target price of $10.46, indicating a potential upside of 33.79%. GCP Applied Technologies has a consensus target price of $34.20, indicating a potential upside of 10.50%. Given Cemex’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Cemex is more favorable than GCP Applied Technologies.

Summary

GCP Applied Technologies beats Cemex on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cemex Company Profile

CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. (CEMEX) is an operating and holding company engaged, directly or indirectly, through its operating subsidiaries, primarily in the production, distribution, marketing and sale of cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates, clinker and other construction materials throughout the world, and that provides construction-related services to customers and communities in over 50 countries throughout the world. The Company operates in various locations, including Mexico, the United States, Europe, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Its cement production facilities are located in Mexico, the United States, Spain, Egypt, Germany, Colombia, the Philippines, Poland, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Panama, Latvia, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The Company is a supplier of aggregates, primarily the crushed stone, sand and gravel, used in various forms of construction.

GCP Applied Technologies Company Profile

GCP Applied Technologies Inc. produces and sells specialty construction chemicals, specialty building materials, and packaging sealants and coatings. The Company operates through two segments: Specialty Construction Chemicals and Specialty Building Materials. The Specialty Construction Chemicals segment manufactures and markets products to manage performance of Portland cement, and materials based on Portland cement, such as concrete admixtures and cement additives, as well as concrete production management systems. The Specialty Building Materials segment manufactures and markets building envelope products, residential building products and specialty construction products. Its brands include ADVA, CBA, MIRA, ADPRUFE, DARABLEND and APPERTA.

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