US Ecology (NASDAQ: ECOL) and Sharps Compliance Corp (NASDAQ:SMED) 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 earnings, risk, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares US Ecology and Sharps Compliance Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
US Ecology 5.86% 11.37% 4.11%
Sharps Compliance Corp -3.39% -2.37% -1.67%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares US Ecology and Sharps Compliance Corp’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
US Ecology $478.29 million 2.18 $106.70 million $1.28 37.38
Sharps Compliance Corp $38.19 million 2.26 $279,666.00 ($0.07) -76.99

US Ecology has higher revenue and earnings than Sharps Compliance Corp. Sharps Compliance Corp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than US Ecology, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

84.8% of US Ecology shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 25.9% of Sharps Compliance Corp shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of US Ecology shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 20.3% of Sharps Compliance Corp shares are owned by 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.

Dividends

US Ecology pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Sharps Compliance Corp does not pay a dividend. US Ecology pays out 56.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for US Ecology and Sharps Compliance Corp, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
US Ecology 1 1 2 0 2.25
Sharps Compliance Corp 0 0 2 0 3.00

US Ecology currently has a consensus price target of $53.75, suggesting a potential upside of 12.33%. Sharps Compliance Corp has a consensus price target of $7.50, suggesting a potential upside of 39.15%. Given Sharps Compliance Corp’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Sharps Compliance Corp is more favorable than US Ecology.

Volatility & Risk

US Ecology has a beta of 0.67, suggesting that its stock price is 33% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sharps Compliance Corp has a beta of 0.58, suggesting that its stock price is 42% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

US Ecology beats Sharps Compliance Corp on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About US Ecology

US Ecology, Inc. is a provider of environmental services to commercial and government entities. The Company offers treatment, disposal and recycling of hazardous, non-hazardous and radioactive waste, as well as a range of field and industrial services. The Company operates in two business segments: Environmental Services, and Field & Industrial Services. Its Environmental Services segment provides a range of hazardous material management services, including transportation, recycling, treatment and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at Company-owned landfill, wastewater and other treatment facilities. The Company’s Field & Industrial Services segment provides packaging and collection of hazardous waste and total waste management solutions at customer sites and through its transfer facilities. Its services include on-site management, waste characterization, transportation and disposal of non-hazardous and hazardous waste.

About Sharps Compliance Corp

Sharps Compliance Corp. is a provider of waste management services, including medical, pharmaceutical and hazardous. The Company’s solutions include Sharps Recovery System, TakeAway Medication Recovery System, MedSafe, Route-Based Pickup Service, TakeAway Recycle System, ComplianceTRAC, Universal Waste Shipback Systems and Other Solutions. The Company’s solutions facilitate the collection, containment, transportation and treatment of various types of healthcare-related materials, including hypodermic needles, lancets and other devices or objects used to puncture or lacerate the skin, or sharps, hazardous waste and unused consumer dispensed medications and over-the-counter drugs. It assists its customers in determining which of its solution offerings fit for the collection, containment, return transportation and treatment of medical waste, used healthcare materials, pharmaceutical waste, hazardous waste and unused dispensed medications. It provides tracking and reporting tools.

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