Agrium (NYSE: AGU) and Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE:SQM) are both large-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, dividends, valuation, risk, earnings and institutional ownership.
This table compares Agrium and Sociedad Quimica y Minera’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|Sociedad Quimica y Minera||15.53%||13.99%||7.57%|
Volatility & Risk
Agrium has a beta of 0.62, indicating that its share price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sociedad Quimica y Minera has a beta of 1.06, indicating that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.
Insider & Institutional Ownership
69.0% of Agrium shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 16.0% of Sociedad Quimica y Minera shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.
This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Agrium and Sociedad Quimica y Minera, as reported by MarketBeat.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|Sociedad Quimica y Minera||0||4||1||0||2.20|
Agrium currently has a consensus target price of $103.67, suggesting a potential upside of 4.71%. Sociedad Quimica y Minera has a consensus target price of $36.00, suggesting a potential downside of 14.83%. Given Agrium’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Agrium is more favorable than Sociedad Quimica y Minera.
Earnings and Valuation
This table compares Agrium and Sociedad Quimica y Minera’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||EBITDA||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|Agrium||$13.66 billion||1.00||$1.57 billion||$4.21||23.52|
|Sociedad Quimica y Minera||$2.08 billion||5.35||$810.31 million||$1.23||34.37|
Agrium has higher revenue and earnings than Sociedad Quimica y Minera. Agrium is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sociedad Quimica y Minera, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
Agrium pays an annual dividend of $3.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Sociedad Quimica y Minera pays an annual dividend of $1.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Agrium pays out 83.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Sociedad Quimica y Minera pays out 94.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Agrium has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years and Sociedad Quimica y Minera has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Agrium is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.
Agrium beats Sociedad Quimica y Minera on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.
Agrium Inc. is a retailer of agricultural products and services in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay and a multi-national producer and wholesale marketer of nutrients for agricultural and industrial markets. The Company’s segments include Retail and Wholesale. As of December 31, 2016, its Retail business unit marketed crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed, merchandise, application and other agronomic services through 1,500 retail locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Its Wholesale business unit manufactures, mines and markets a range of nutrients, including nitrogen-based, potash and phosphate-based crop nutrient products. As of December 31, 2016, its Wholesale business unit owned and operated five North American nitrogen facilities, four located in Alberta, Canada and one in Borger, Texas, United States.
About Sociedad Quimica y Minera
Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM), is a producer of potassium nitrate and iodine. The Company produces specialty plant nutrients, iodine derivatives, lithium and its derivatives, potassium chloride, potassium sulfate and certain industrial chemicals. Its segments include specialty plant nutrients, industrial chemicals, iodine and derivatives, lithium and derivatives, potassium, and other products and services. Specialty plant nutrients are fertilizers that enable farmers to improve yields and the quality of certain crops. Industrial chemicals have a range of applications in chemical processes, such as the manufacturing of glass and industrial nitrates. Iodine and its derivatives are used in the X-ray contrast media and biocides industries, among others. Lithium and its derivatives are used in batteries, greases and frits for production of ceramics. Potassium chloride is a commodity fertilizer that is produced and sold by the Company across the world.
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