GCP Applied Technologies (NYSE: GCP) and Summit Materials (NYSE:SUM) are both mid-cap construction companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, risk, earnings, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for GCP Applied Technologies and Summit Materials, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
GCP Applied Technologies 0 0 4 0 3.00
Summit Materials 0 2 6 0 2.75

GCP Applied Technologies currently has a consensus target price of $35.50, indicating a potential upside of 20.95%. Summit Materials has a consensus target price of $30.33, indicating a potential upside of 3.42%. Given GCP Applied Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe GCP Applied Technologies is more favorable than Summit Materials.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

81.6% of GCP Applied Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of GCP Applied Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Summit Materials shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

GCP Applied Technologies has a beta of 0.76, meaning that its share price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Summit Materials has a beta of 2.06, meaning that its share price is 106% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares GCP Applied Technologies and Summit Materials’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
GCP Applied Technologies 0.26% -44.32% 5.24%
Summit Materials 2.46% 9.90% 3.22%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares GCP Applied Technologies and Summit Materials’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
GCP Applied Technologies $1.34 billion 1.57 $214.90 million $0.04 733.75
Summit Materials $1.76 billion 1.79 $368.45 million $0.56 52.12

Summit Materials has higher revenue and earnings than GCP Applied Technologies. Summit Materials is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than GCP Applied Technologies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Summit Materials beats GCP Applied Technologies on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About GCP Applied Technologies

GCP Applied Technologies Inc. produces and sells specialty construction chemicals, specialty building materials, and packaging sealants and coatings. The Company operates through two segments: Specialty Construction Chemicals and Specialty Building Materials. The Specialty Construction Chemicals segment manufactures and markets products to manage performance of Portland cement, and materials based on Portland cement, such as concrete admixtures and cement additives, as well as concrete production management systems. The Specialty Building Materials segment manufactures and markets building envelope products, residential building products and specialty construction products. Its brands include ADVA, CBA, MIRA, ADPRUFE, DARABLEND and APPERTA.

About Summit Materials

Summit Materials, Inc. is a construction materials company. The Company operates through three segments: West, East and Cement. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had operations in 21 states in the United States and in British Columbia, Canada. The Company’s materials include aggregates, which it supplies across the United States, and in British Columbia, Canada, and cement, which it supplies along the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to New Orleans. Within its markets, it offers construction materials and related downstream products through its vertical integration. In addition to supplying of aggregates to its customers, the Company also uses its materials internally to produce ready-mix concrete and asphalt paving mix. Its construction materials operations consists of aggregates production, including crushed stone and construction sand and gravel, cement and ready-mixed concrete production, and asphalt paving mix production.

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