Clean Harbors (NYSE: CLH) and Heritage Crystal Clean (NASDAQ:HCCI) are both business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, risk, institutional ownership and profitability.

Risk and Volatility

Clean Harbors has a beta of 1.01, suggesting that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Heritage Crystal Clean has a beta of 1.74, suggesting that its share price is 74% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Clean Harbors and Heritage Crystal Clean, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Clean Harbors 1 5 4 0 2.30
Heritage Crystal Clean 0 1 4 0 2.80

Clean Harbors currently has a consensus target price of $58.33, indicating a potential upside of 22.55%. Heritage Crystal Clean has a consensus target price of $24.20, indicating a potential upside of 10.50%. Given Clean Harbors’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Clean Harbors is more favorable than Heritage Crystal Clean.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Clean Harbors and Heritage Crystal Clean’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Clean Harbors $2.94 billion 0.91 $100.73 million $0.33 144.24
Heritage Crystal Clean $365.96 million 1.42 $28.12 million $0.68 32.21

Clean Harbors has higher revenue and earnings than Heritage Crystal Clean. Heritage Crystal Clean is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Clean Harbors, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Clean Harbors and Heritage Crystal Clean’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Clean Harbors 3.42% 1.36% 0.41%
Heritage Crystal Clean 7.68% 7.15% 5.22%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.7% of Clean Harbors shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 59.2% of Heritage Crystal Clean shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.9% of Clean Harbors shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 14.8% of Heritage Crystal Clean shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Heritage Crystal Clean beats Clean Harbors on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Clean Harbors

Clean Harbors, Inc. provides environmental, energy, and industrial services in North America. It operates through Technical Services; Industrial and Field Services; Safety-Kleen; and Oil, Gas and Lodging Services segments. The company's Technical Services segment provides a range of hazardous material management services, including the packaging, collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at its incinerator, landfill, wastewater, and other treatment facilities. Its Industrial and Field Services segment offers industrial and specialty services, such as high-pressure and chemical cleaning, daylighting, production servicing, decoking, pigging, and material processing to refineries, chemical plants, oil sands facilities, pulp and paper mills, and other industrial facilities. This segment also provides environmental cleanup services consisting of tank cleaning, decontamination, remediation, and spill cleanup. The company's Safety-Kleen segment offers parts cleaning, containerized waste, used oil collection, and vacuum services, as well as other environmental services and products, such as degreasers, glass and floor cleaners, hand cleaners, absorbents, windshield washer fluids, mats, and spill kits. This segment also manufactures, formulates, packages, blends, distributes, and markets lubricants. Its Oil, Gas and Lodging Services segment provides surface rental, seismic support, and directional boring services to the energy sector serving oil and gas exploration, and power generation. This segment also offers lodges and remote workforce accommodation facilities, including open lodges, as well as operator and drill camps in Western Canada; and manufactures modular units and wastewater processing plants. The company operates through a network of approximately 465 service locations in 49 states, 9 Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Clean Harbors, Inc. was founded in 1980 and is based in Norwell, Massachusetts.

About Heritage Crystal Clean

Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc., through its subsidiary, Heritage-Crystal Clean, LLC, provides parts cleaning, and hazardous and non-hazardous containerized waste services to small and mid-sized customers in the vehicle maintenance and manufacturing services industries in North America. It operates in two segments, Environmental Services and Oil Business. The Environmental Services segment offers parts cleaning, containerized waste management, vacuum truck, antifreeze recycling, and field services. The Oil Business segment engages in the collection of used oil, the sale of recycled fuel oil, and used oil filter removal and disposal activities, as well as the re-refining of used oil into lubricant base oil and other products. This segment also collects and disposes waste water. As of February 28, 2018, the company operated through 86 branches serving approximately 108,000 customer locations. Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. was incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in Elgin, Illinois.

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