Aemetis (NASDAQ: AMTX) and Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations and profitabiliy.

Risk and Volatility

Aemetis has a beta of 0.8, meaning that its stock price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Green Plains has a beta of 1.42, meaning that its stock price is 42% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

19.0% of Aemetis shares are owned by institutional investors. 24.1% of Aemetis shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 6.4% of Green Plains shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Aemetis and Green Plains, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aemetis 0 1 0 0 2.00
Green Plains 0 1 5 0 2.83

Aemetis currently has a consensus target price of $2.00, indicating a potential upside of 62.73%. Green Plains has a consensus target price of $27.00, indicating a potential upside of 41.36%. Given Aemetis’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Aemetis is more favorable than Green Plains.

Dividends

Green Plains pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Aemetis does not pay a dividend. Green Plains pays out 282.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Aemetis and Green Plains’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aemetis $141.41 million 0.17 $700,999.00 ($0.96) -1.28
Green Plains $3.55 billion 0.22 $227.49 million $0.17 112.35

Green Plains has higher revenue and earnings than Aemetis. Aemetis is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Green Plains, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Aemetis and Green Plains’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aemetis -13.47% N/A -26.98%
Green Plains 0.19% 0.68% 0.28%

Summary

Green Plains beats Aemetis on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Aemetis

Aemetis, Inc. is an international renewable fuels and biochemicals company. The Company is focused on the production of fuels and chemicals through the acquisition, development and commercialization of technologies that replace traditional petroleum-based products by conversion of first-generation ethanol and biodiesel plants into biorefineries. Its segments include North America and India. The North America segment includes the Company’s approximately 60 million gallon per year capacity ethanol manufacturing plant in Keyes, California and its technology lab in College Park, Maryland. The India segment includes the Company’s over 50 million gallon per year capacity biodiesel manufacturing plant in Kakinada, the administrative offices in Hyderabad, India, and the holding companies in Nevada and Mauritius. The Keyes plant produces denatured ethanol, Wet Distillers Grains, corn oil and Condensed Distillers Solubles. It produces biodiesel and refined glycerin at the Kakinada plant.

About Green Plains

Green Plains Inc. is an ethanol producer. The Company owns and operates assets throughout the ethanol value chain, including upstream, with grain handling and storage through its ethanol production facilities, and downstream, with marketing and distribution services. It operates through four segments: Ethanol Production, Agribusiness and Energy Services, Food and Food Ingredients, and Partnership. The ethanol production segment includes production of ethanol, distillers grains and corn oil. The agribusiness and energy services segment includes grain procurement. The food and food ingredients segment includes a cattle feedlot operation. The Company’s master limited partnership, Green Plains Partners LP (the partnership), provides fuel storage and transportation services by owning, operating, developing and acquiring ethanol and fuel storage tanks, terminals, transportation assets and other related assets and businesses.

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