KBR (NYSE: KBR) and Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI) are both construction companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

99.7% of KBR shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.7% of Chicago Bridge & Iron shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of KBR shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Chicago Bridge & Iron shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares KBR and Chicago Bridge & Iron’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
KBR 1.63% 10.22% 2.14%
Chicago Bridge & Iron -13.33% -10.86% -2.04%

Volatility and Risk

KBR has a beta of 1.04, meaning that its share price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Chicago Bridge & Iron has a beta of 2.21, meaning that its share price is 121% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

KBR pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Chicago Bridge & Iron pays an annual dividend of $0.21 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. KBR pays out 62.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Chicago Bridge & Iron pays out -2.2% 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for KBR and Chicago Bridge & Iron, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
KBR 0 2 5 0 2.71
Chicago Bridge & Iron 2 7 5 0 2.21

KBR currently has a consensus target price of $20.83, suggesting a potential upside of 10.05%. Chicago Bridge & Iron has a consensus target price of $19.62, suggesting a potential upside of 9.64%. Given KBR’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe KBR is more favorable than Chicago Bridge & Iron.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares KBR and Chicago Bridge & Iron’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
KBR $4.27 billion 0.62 -$61.00 million $0.51 37.12
Chicago Bridge & Iron $10.68 billion 0.17 -$313.16 million ($9.62) -1.86

KBR has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Chicago Bridge & Iron. Chicago Bridge & Iron is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than KBR, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

KBR beats Chicago Bridge & Iron on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About KBR

KBR, Inc. is a provider of professional services and technologies across the asset and program life-cycle within the government services and hydrocarbons industries. The Company operates through business segments, including Technology & Consulting (T&C), Engineering & Construction (E&C), Government Services (GS), Non-strategic Business and Other. The T&C business segment combines KBR technologies, knowledge-based services and its three specialty consulting brands, Granherne, Energo and GVA, under a single customer-facing global business. The E&C business segment provides project and program delivery solution across the globe. The GS business segment provides life-cycle support solutions to defense, space, aviation and other programs and missions for government agencies in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Its solutions include engineering services, mission and logistics support solutions, consulting, procurement, construction management and other support services.

About Chicago Bridge & Iron

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. provides services to customers in energy infrastructure market. The Company provides services, such as conceptual design, technology, engineering, procurement, fabrication, modularization, construction, commissioning, maintenance, program management and environmental services. Its Engineering and Construction segment provides engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services. Its Fabrication Services segment provides fabrication and erection of steel plate structures; fabrication of piping systems and process modules, and manufacturing and distribution of pipe and fittings. The Technology segment provides process technology licenses and associated engineering services, and catalysts, for petrochemical and refining industries, and offers process planning and project development services.

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