Compass Minerals International (NYSE: CMP) and Emerge Energy Services (NYSE:EMES) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings and dividends.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

10.2% of Emerge Energy Services shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Compass Minerals International shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Compass Minerals International and Emerge Energy Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Compass Minerals International 2.39% 12.03% 3.47%
Emerge Energy Services 1.53% 19.61% 3.03%

Dividends

Compass Minerals International pays an annual dividend of $2.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.2%. Emerge Energy Services does not pay a dividend. Compass Minerals International pays out 104.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Compass Minerals International has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

Compass Minerals International has a beta of 0.6, suggesting that its stock price is 40% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Emerge Energy Services has a beta of 1.88, suggesting that its stock price is 88% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Compass Minerals International and Emerge Energy Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Compass Minerals International $1.36 billion 1.72 $42.70 million $2.75 25.20
Emerge Energy Services $364.30 million 0.68 -$6.83 million ($0.12) -66.25

Compass Minerals International has higher revenue and earnings than Emerge Energy Services. Emerge Energy Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Compass Minerals International, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Compass Minerals International and Emerge Energy Services, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Compass Minerals International 1 1 4 0 2.50
Emerge Energy Services 0 5 2 0 2.29

Compass Minerals International currently has a consensus target price of $71.50, suggesting a potential upside of 3.17%. Emerge Energy Services has a consensus target price of $9.00, suggesting a potential upside of 13.21%. Given Emerge Energy Services’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Emerge Energy Services is more favorable than Compass Minerals International.

Summary

Compass Minerals International beats Emerge Energy Services on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Compass Minerals International Company Profile

Compass Minerals International, Inc., produces and sells salt, and specialty plant nutrition and chemical products primarily in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. It operates in three segments: Salt, Plant Nutrition North America, and Plant Nutrition South America. The Salt segment offers sodium chloride and magnesium chloride, including rock salt, mechanically and solar evaporated salt, and brine and flake magnesium chloride products; and purchases potassium chloride and calcium chloride to sell as finished products or to blend with salt to produce specialty products. This segment provides products for use as a deicer for roadways, consumer, and professional use; as an ingredient in chemical production; for water treatment, human, and animal nutrition; and for various other consumer and industrial uses, as well as provides records management services. The Plant Nutrition North America segment offers sulfate of potash specialty fertilizers in various grades, including agricultural products used in broadcast spreaders, direct application, and liquid fertilizer solutions; turf products used by the turf and ornamental markets, as well as for blends used on golf course greens; organic products under the Protassium+ brand; and micronutrient products under the Wolf Trax brand, as well as specialty plant nutrition solution-based products and chemical solutions. This segment provides its products to distributors and retailers of crop inputs, as well as growers. The Plant Nutrition South America segment offers various specialty plant nutrients and supplements; water and wastewater treatment chemicals for cleaning, decontaminating, and purifying water; and process chemicals for industrial use. The company was formerly known as Salt Holdings Corporation and changed its name to Compass Minerals International, Inc. in December 2003. Compass Minerals International, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.

Emerge Energy Services Company Profile

Emerge Energy Services LP, through its subsidiary, Superior Silica Sands LLC, operates an energy services company in the United States. It engages in mining, producing, and distributing silica sand, which is a primary input for the hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells. The company serves oilfield services companies, and exploration and production companies that are engaged in hydraulic fracturing. Emerge Energy Services GP, LLC operates as the general partner of the company. Emerge Energy Services LP was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

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