Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT) and Innospec (NASDAQ:IOSP) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, profitabiliy and dividends.

Risk & Volatility

Cabot Corporation has a beta of 1.05, meaning that its share price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Innospec has a beta of 1.15, meaning that its share price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Cabot Corporation and Innospec’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cabot Corporation 8.61% 16.03% 7.24%
Innospec 8.24% 14.63% 8.56%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Cabot Corporation and Innospec’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cabot Corporation $2.61 billion 1.24 $482.00 million $3.57 14.55
Innospec $965.60 million 1.49 $138.30 million $3.25 18.35

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Cabot Corporation and Innospec, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cabot Corporation 0 2 3 0 2.60
Innospec 0 1 0 0 2.00

Cabot Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $59.60, suggesting a potential upside of 14.77%. Innospec has a consensus target price of $62.00, suggesting a potential upside of 3.94%. Given Cabot Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Cabot Corporation is more favorable than Innospec.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

85.7% of Cabot Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.5% of Innospec shares are held by institutional investors. 2.5% of Cabot Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Innospec shares are held by company 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.

Dividends

Cabot Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.26 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Innospec pays an annual dividend of $0.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Cabot Corporation pays out 35.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Innospec pays out 23.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Innospec has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Summary

Cabot Corporation beats Innospec on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cabot Corporation

Cabot Corporation is a global specialty chemicals and performance materials company. The Company operates through four business segments: reinforcement materials, performance chemicals, purification solutions and specialty fluids. Reinforcement materials’ rubber grade carbon blacks are used to enhance the physical properties of the systems and applications in which they are incorporated. Its rubber blacks products are used in tires and industrial products. Performance Chemicals consists of two businesses: specialty carbons and formulations business, and metal oxides business. Purification Solutions’ activated carbon products are used for the purification of water, air and pharmaceuticals, among others, as either a colorant or a decolorizing agent in the production of food and beverage applications. Its specialty fluids segment produces and markets cesium formate as a drilling and completion fluid for use in high pressure and high temperature oil and gas well construction.

About Innospec

Innospec Inc. is a specialty chemicals company engaged in developing, manufacturing, blending, marketing and supplying of specialty chemicals for use as fuel additives and ingredients for personal care, home care, agrochemical, mining and other applications and oilfield chemicals. The Company operates through four business segments: Fuel Specialties, Performance Chemicals, Oilfield Services and Octane Additives. Its Fuel Specialties develops, manufactures, blends, markets and supplies various specialty chemical products that are used as additives for a range of fuels. Its Performance Chemicals provides technology-based solutions. Its Oilfield Services business supplies drilling, completion and production chemicals. Its Octane Additives business manufactures a fuel additive for use in automotive gasoline and provides services in respect of environmental remediation. Its customers include oil and gas exploration and production companies, fuel users, and oil refiners among others.

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