Ameresco (NYSE:AMRC) and Lime Energy (OTCMKTS:LIME) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, dividends, valuation and profitability.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

28.1% of Ameresco shares are owned by institutional investors. 57.9% of Ameresco shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.8% of Lime Energy shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Ameresco has a beta of 0.39, meaning that its share price is 61% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Lime Energy has a beta of -0.64, meaning that its share price is 164% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Ameresco and Lime Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ameresco 0 1 2 0 2.67
Lime Energy 0 0 0 0 N/A

Ameresco presently has a consensus target price of $15.83, suggesting a potential upside of 6.77%. Given Ameresco’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Ameresco is more favorable than Lime Energy.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ameresco and Lime Energy’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ameresco $717.15 million 0.95 $37.49 million $0.76 19.51
Lime Energy $112.62 million 0.52 -$3.15 million N/A N/A

Ameresco has higher revenue and earnings than Lime Energy.

Profitability

This table compares Ameresco and Lime Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ameresco 6.43% 14.06% 4.71%
Lime Energy N/A N/A N/A

Summary

Ameresco beats Lime Energy on 11 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ameresco

Ameresco, Inc. provides comprehensive energy services for businesses and organizations in North America and Europe. It offers energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, energy security and resilience, asset sustainability, and renewable energy solutions. The company operates through U.S. Regions, U.S. Federal, Canada, and Non-Solar Distributed Generation segments. It designs, develops, engineers, and installs projects that reduce the energy, as well as operations and maintenance costs of customers' facilities. The company's projects primarily include various measures customized for the facility and designed to enhance the efficiency of building systems, such as heating, ventilation, cooling, and lighting systems. It also offers renewable energy products and services, such as the construction of small-scale plants for customers that produce electricity, gas, heat, or cooling from renewable sources of energy; and sells electricity and processed renewable gas fuel, heat, or cooling. In addition, the company provides enterprise energy management and consulting services; and sells solar photovoltaic (PV) energy products and systems. It serves federal, state, and local governments, as well as healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. As of December 31, 2017, the company owned and operated 73 small-scale renewable energy plants and solar PV installations. Ameresco, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts.

About Lime Energy

Lime Energy Co. engages in the designing and implementing energy efficiency programs for utilities in the United States. It offers direct install energy efficiency solutions for small and mid-size commercial and industrial business programs to enhance energy efficiency, and reduce energy-related expenditures and the impact of energy use on the environment. The company's solutions comprise energy efficient lighting upgrades and energy efficient mechanical upgrades. It also provides utility program management and implementation services, which comprise program design, program administration, customer recruitment-marketing and sales, and auditing and implementation of energy efficiency projects. The company was formerly known as Electric City Corp. and changed its name to Lime Energy Co. in September 2006. Lime Energy Co. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.

Receive News & Ratings for Ameresco Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Ameresco and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.