Matrix Service (NASDAQ: MTRX) and Ion Geophysical Corporation (NYSE:IO) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership and risk.


This table compares Matrix Service and Ion Geophysical Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Matrix Service -0.02% -0.06% -0.03%
Ion Geophysical Corporation -20.03% -91.64% -12.33%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

85.2% of Matrix Service shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 33.5% of Ion Geophysical Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 2.5% of Matrix Service shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 15.2% of Ion Geophysical Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Matrix Service and Ion Geophysical Corporation, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Matrix Service 0 3 0 0 2.00
Ion Geophysical Corporation 0 0 0 0 N/A

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Matrix Service and Ion Geophysical Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Matrix Service $1.20 billion 0.33 $25.98 million ($0.01) -1,478.52
Ion Geophysical Corporation $192.55 million 0.58 $49.11 million ($3.27) -2.86

Ion Geophysical Corporation has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Matrix Service. Matrix Service is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ion Geophysical Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Matrix Service has a beta of 0.7, indicating that its stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ion Geophysical Corporation has a beta of 3.55, indicating that its stock price is 255% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Matrix Service beats Ion Geophysical Corporation on 6 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Matrix Service Company Profile

Matrix Service Company provides engineering, fabrication, infrastructure, construction and maintenance services primarily to the oil, gas, power, petrochemical, industrial, mining and minerals markets. The Company’s segments include Electrical Infrastructure, Oil Gas & Chemical, Storage Solutions and Industrial. The Electrical Infrastructure segment primarily includes construction and maintenance services to a range of power generation facilities, such as combined cycle plants, natural gas fired power stations and renewable energy installations. The Oil Gas & Chemical segment includes turnaround activities, plant maintenance services and construction in the downstream petroleum industry. The Storage Solutions segment includes new construction of crude and refined products aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), as well as planned and emergency maintenance services. The Industrial segment includes construction and maintenance work in the iron and steel and mining and minerals industries.

Ion Geophysical Corporation Company Profile

ION Geophysical Corporation is a technology-focused company. It provides geophysical technology, services and solutions to the global oil and gas industry. Its offerings are designed to enable oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies to obtain images of the Earth’s subsurface. It offers services and products through three segments: E&P Technology & Services, E&P Operations Optimization, and Ocean Bottom Services. E&P Technology & Services provides services and products for complex and hard-to-image geologies, such as deepwater subsalt formations in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore East and West Africa and Brazil; unconventional reservoirs, such as those found onshore in shale, tight gas and oil sands formations, and offshore basin-wide seismic data and imaging programs. E&P Operations Optimization combines its Optimization Software and Services and Devices offerings. Ocean Bottom Services consists of OceanGeo, an ocean bottom data acquisition services company.

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