Quest Resource Holding Corporation. (NASDAQ: QRHC) and Aqua Metals (NASDAQ:AQMS) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, profitabiliy, dividends, risk and earnings.

Volatility and Risk

Quest Resource Holding Corporation. has a beta of 2.93, suggesting that its stock price is 193% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aqua Metals has a beta of 1.52, suggesting that its stock price is 52% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

11.9% of Quest Resource Holding Corporation. shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 40.0% of Aqua Metals shares are held by institutional investors. 51.6% of Quest Resource Holding Corporation. shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 19.7% of Aqua Metals shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Quest Resource Holding Corporation. and Aqua Metals’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Quest Resource Holding Corporation. $180.58 million 0.21 -$2.98 million ($0.52) -4.81
Aqua Metals N/A N/A -$13.69 million ($0.99) -12.63

Quest Resource Holding Corporation. has higher revenue and earnings than Aqua Metals. Aqua Metals is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Quest Resource Holding Corporation., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Quest Resource Holding Corporation. and Aqua Metals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Quest Resource Holding Corporation. -4.27% -11.38% -7.16%
Aqua Metals N/A -31.86% -24.73%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Quest Resource Holding Corporation. and Aqua Metals, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Quest Resource Holding Corporation. 0 0 3 0 3.00
Aqua Metals 0 0 4 0 3.00

Quest Resource Holding Corporation. currently has a consensus price target of $5.33, suggesting a potential upside of 113.33%. Aqua Metals has a consensus price target of $31.00, suggesting a potential upside of 148.00%. Given Aqua Metals’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Aqua Metals is more favorable than Quest Resource Holding Corporation..

Summary

Quest Resource Holding Corporation. beats Aqua Metals on 7 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Quest Resource Holding Corporation. Company Profile

Quest Resource Holding Corporation (QRHC) provides businesses with one-stop management programs to reuse, recycle and dispose of a range of waste streams and recyclables generated by their businesses and operate social media and online data platforms that contain information and instructions to recycle or properly dispose of household products and materials. The Company’s reuse, recycling and disposal management programs are designed to enable regional and national customers to have a single point of contact for managing a range of waste streams and recyclables. Its directory of local recycling and disposal options provides guidance for the proper recycling or disposal of a range of household products and materials. Its services focuses on the waste streams and recyclables from big box, food chain and other retailers; automotive and fleet providers; hospital and other healthcare facilities, and commercial, industrial, residential and educational properties.

Aqua Metals Company Profile

Aqua Metals, Inc. is engaged in the business of recycling lead through a process that the Company developed and named AquaRefining. The Company’s AquaRefining process focuses on providing for the recycling of lead acid batteries (LABs) and the production of lead. AquaRefining uses bio-degradable aqueous solvent and an ambient temperature electro-chemical process to produce lead. The modular nature of AquaRefining makes it possible to start LAB recycling at a much smaller scale than is possible with smelters. Its AquaRefining process begins with the crushing of used LABs and the separation of the metallic lead, active material (lead compounds), sulfuric acid and plastic for recycling. The active material is dissolved in its solvent. The primary lead is then stripped from the solvent using its automated process allowing the solvent to be reused continuously and indefinitely. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had not generated revenues.

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