Intrepid Potash (NYSE: IPI) and Marrone Bio Innovations (NASDAQ:MBII) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk and institutional ownership.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

47.3% of Intrepid Potash shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 39.0% of Marrone Bio Innovations shares are held by institutional investors. 27.3% of Intrepid Potash shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.3% of Marrone Bio Innovations shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Intrepid Potash and Marrone Bio Innovations’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Intrepid Potash -30.56% -12.37% -8.86%
Marrone Bio Innovations -177.10% N/A -64.21%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Intrepid Potash and Marrone Bio Innovations, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Intrepid Potash 0 1 0 0 2.00
Marrone Bio Innovations 0 2 1 0 2.33

Intrepid Potash currently has a consensus price target of $3.00, indicating a potential downside of 25.56%. Marrone Bio Innovations has a consensus price target of $2.50, indicating a potential upside of 111.86%. Given Marrone Bio Innovations’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Marrone Bio Innovations is more favorable than Intrepid Potash.

Risk & Volatility

Intrepid Potash has a beta of 1.09, meaning that its share price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Marrone Bio Innovations has a beta of 0.29, meaning that its share price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Intrepid Potash and Marrone Bio Innovations’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Intrepid Potash $133.60 million 3.70 -$86,000.00 ($0.68) -5.93
Marrone Bio Innovations $16.95 million 2.18 -$21.12 million ($1.17) -1.01

Intrepid Potash has higher revenue and earnings than Marrone Bio Innovations. Intrepid Potash is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Marrone Bio Innovations, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Intrepid Potash beats Marrone Bio Innovations on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Intrepid Potash

Intrepid Potash, Inc. is a producer of muriate of potash (potassium chloride or potash) and langbeinite (sulfate of potash magnesia) in the United States, which it markets and sells as Trio. The Company operates in the extraction, production and sale of potassium-related products. Its products are potash and Trio. It sells potash into three markets, including the agricultural market as a fertilizer input; the industrial market as a component in drilling and fracturing fluids for oil and gas wells and an input to other industrial processes, and the animal feed market as a nutrient supplement. Trio, which it mines from langbeinite ore, is its specialty fertilizer that delivers potassium, sulfate and magnesium in a single particle and has low chloride. The Company also produces salt, magnesium chloride, metal recovery salts and brine containing salt and potassium from its mining processes. It produces potash from three solar evaporation solution mining facilities.

About Marrone Bio Innovations

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. offers bio-based pest management and plant health products. The Company’s bio-based products include naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and plant extracts. It sells its products to crop protection market. Its four crop protection products include Regalia, Grandevo, Venerate and Majestene. Its products are used in both conventional and organic crop production, and are sold to growers of specialty crops, such as grapes, citrus, tomatoes, vegetables, nuts, leafy greens and ornamental plants. It offers Regalia for large-acre row crops, such as corn and soybeans. Its pipeline of early-stage discoveries and product candidates extends across a range of product types for end markets, including herbicides, fungicides, nematicides, insecticides, algaecides (for algae control), molluscicides (for mussel and snail control), and plant growth and plant stress regulators. It is engaged in developing MBI-010, MBI-110, Haven (MBI-505) and MBI-601.

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