Sensient Technologies (NYSE:SXT) and Tantech (NASDAQ:TANH) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Sensient Technologies and Tantech’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sensient Technologies 9.92% 18.43% 8.61%
Tantech N/A N/A N/A

Risk & Volatility

Sensient Technologies has a beta of 0.88, meaning that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Tantech has a beta of -1.87, meaning that its share price is 287% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Sensient Technologies and Tantech, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sensient Technologies 1 0 3 0 2.50
Tantech 0 0 0 0 N/A

Sensient Technologies currently has a consensus target price of $83.00, suggesting a potential upside of 25.68%. Given Sensient Technologies’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Sensient Technologies is more favorable than Tantech.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

97.7% of Sensient Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 7.0% of Tantech shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.9% of Sensient Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Sensient Technologies and Tantech’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sensient Technologies $1.36 billion 2.05 $89.60 million $3.42 19.31
Tantech $43.08 million 1.19 $3.76 million N/A N/A

Sensient Technologies has higher revenue and earnings than Tantech.

Dividends

Sensient Technologies pays an annual dividend of $1.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Tantech does not pay a dividend. Sensient Technologies pays out 42.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Sensient Technologies has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Summary

Sensient Technologies beats Tantech on 13 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Sensient Technologies

Sensient Technologies Corporation develops, manufactures, and supplies colors, flavors, and fragrances in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments: Flavors & Fragrances Group, Color Group, and Asia Pacific Group. The company offers flavor-delivery systems, and compounded and blended products; ingredient products, such as essential oils, natural and synthetic flavors, natural extracts, and aroma chemicals; fragrance products; and chili powder, paprika, and chili pepper, as well as dehydrated vegetables comprising parsley, celery, and spinach to the food, beverage, personal care, and household-products industries. It also provides natural and synthetic color systems for use in foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals; colors and other ingredients for cosmetics, such as active ingredients, solubilizers, and surface treated pigments; pharmaceutical and nutraceutical excipients, including colors, flavors, and coatings; specialty inks; and technical colors for industrial applications under the Sensient Food Colors, Sensient Pharmaceutical Coating Systems, Sensient Cosmetic Technologies, Sensient Inks, and Sensient Industrial Colors trade names. The company was founded in 1882 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

About Tantech

Tantech Holdings Ltd. develops and manufactures bamboo-based charcoal products in the People's Republic of China and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Consumer Products, Trading, and Electric Vehicle. It produces pressed and formed charcoal briquettes for use in grills, incense burners, and other applications under the Algold brand. The company also offers Charcoal Doctor branded products, such as air purifiers and humidifiers, automotive accessories for air purification, underfloor humidity control products, pillows and mattresses, wardrobe deodorizers, mouse pads and wrist mats, refrigerator deodorants, charcoal toilet cleaner disks, liquid charcoal cleaners, shoe insoles, and decorative charcoal gifts. In addition, it provides bamboo vinegar, a liquid byproduct that is used in disinfectants, detergents, lotions, specialized soaps, toilet cleaners, and fertilizers, as well as in various agricultural applications. Further, the company develops, manufactures, and sells electric buses and specialty electric vehicles, such as electric logistics cars, brushless cleaning cars, electric cleaning cars, special emergency vehicles, and funeral cars; and solar cells, lithium-ion batteries, auto parts, and electric control systems. The company sells its products directly or indirectly through distributors for industrial energy applications; and household cooking, heating, purification, agricultural, and cleaning uses. It also exports its bamboo vinegar, bamboo charcoal and purification products. Tantech Holdings Ltd. was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Lishui, the People's Republic of China.

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