Carbo Ceramics (NYSE: CRR) and Helix Energy Solutions Group (NYSE:HLX) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

72.9% of Carbo Ceramics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.9% of Helix Energy Solutions Group shares are held by institutional investors. 16.2% of Carbo Ceramics shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.7% of Helix Energy Solutions Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Carbo Ceramics and Helix Energy Solutions Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Carbo Ceramics 1 5 1 0 2.00
Helix Energy Solutions Group 0 1 6 0 2.86

Carbo Ceramics currently has a consensus price target of $10.93, suggesting a potential upside of 72.10%. Helix Energy Solutions Group has a consensus price target of $10.50, suggesting a potential upside of 62.54%. Given Carbo Ceramics’ higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Carbo Ceramics is more favorable than Helix Energy Solutions Group.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Carbo Ceramics and Helix Energy Solutions Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Carbo Ceramics $127.54 million 1.35 -$64.41 million ($3.53) -1.80
Helix Energy Solutions Group $544.13 million 1.75 $107.34 million ($0.51) -12.67

Helix Energy Solutions Group has higher revenue and earnings than Carbo Ceramics. Helix Energy Solutions Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Carbo Ceramics, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Carbo Ceramics and Helix Energy Solutions Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Carbo Ceramics -72.46% -12.72% -10.76%
Helix Energy Solutions Group -12.09% -1.21% -0.71%

Volatility & Risk

Carbo Ceramics has a beta of 1.66, suggesting that its share price is 66% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Helix Energy Solutions Group has a beta of 2.6, suggesting that its share price is 160% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Helix Energy Solutions Group beats Carbo Ceramics on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Carbo Ceramics Company Profile

CARBO Ceramics Inc. is a technology company that provides products and services to the global oil and gas and industrial markets. The Company operates through two segments: Oilfield Technologies and Services, and Environmental Products and Services. The Company’s oilfield technologies and services segment includes the manufacturing and selling of proppant products for use primarily in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells, Fracpro software for the design of fracture treatments, and StrataGen consulting services for the optimizing of well completions. The Company’s environmental products and services segment is intended to protect operators’ assets, minimize environmental risks, and lower lease operating expense (LOE). The Company, through Asset Guard Products Inc. (AGPI), provides spill prevention, containment and countermeasure systems for the oil and gas industry. The Company manufactures various ceramic proppants.

Helix Energy Solutions Group Company Profile

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. is an international offshore energy services company. The Company provides services to the offshore energy industry, with a focus on well intervention and robotics operations. The Company operates in three segments: Well Intervention, Robotics and Production Facilities. Its Well Intervention segment includes the Company’s vessels and equipment used to perform well intervention services primarily in the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea regions. Its Robotics segment includes remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), trenchers and ROVDrills designed to complement offshore construction and well intervention services, and operates chartered ROV support vessels. Its Production Facilities segment includes the Helix Producer I (the HP I), a floating production vessel, the Helix Fast Response System (the HFRS), and its ownership interest in Independence Hub, LLC (Independence Hub).

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