Platform Specialty Products Corp (NYSE: PAH) and W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Platform Specialty Products Corp and W.R. Grace & Co.’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Platform Specialty Products Corp $3.64 billion 0.88 $732.30 million ($0.44) -25.41
W.R. Grace & Co. $1.67 billion 2.97 $371.30 million $1.99 36.58

Platform Specialty Products Corp has higher revenue and earnings than W.R. Grace & Co.. Platform Specialty Products Corp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than W.R. Grace & Co., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Platform Specialty Products Corp and W.R. Grace & Co., as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Platform Specialty Products Corp 0 3 5 0 2.63
W.R. Grace & Co. 0 3 7 0 2.70

Platform Specialty Products Corp currently has a consensus target price of $12.38, suggesting a potential upside of 10.69%. W.R. Grace & Co. has a consensus target price of $79.40, suggesting a potential upside of 9.08%. Given Platform Specialty Products Corp’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Platform Specialty Products Corp is more favorable than W.R. Grace & Co..

Profitability

This table compares Platform Specialty Products Corp and W.R. Grace & Co.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Platform Specialty Products Corp -0.26% 7.15% 2.05%
W.R. Grace & Co. 8.20% 43.88% 6.20%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

93.7% of Platform Specialty Products Corp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.8% of W.R. Grace & Co. shares are held by institutional investors. 6.0% of Platform Specialty Products Corp shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of W.R. Grace & Co. shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Platform Specialty Products Corp has a beta of 3.34, suggesting that its share price is 234% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, W.R. Grace & Co. has a beta of 1.11, suggesting that its share price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

W.R. Grace & Co. pays an annual dividend of $0.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Platform Specialty Products Corp does not pay a dividend. W.R. Grace & Co. pays out 42.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

W.R. Grace & Co. beats Platform Specialty Products Corp on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Platform Specialty Products Corp Company Profile

Platform Specialty Products Corporation produces and sells specialty chemical products in the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, and Europe. It operates through two segments, Performance Solutions and Agricultural Solutions. The Performance Solutions segment offers plating products that are used to plate holes; electroless nickel products, which are applied to various metal and plastic surfaces; electronic assembly materials for use in the electronic market and residential boiler systems; final finishes that are used on printed circuit boards; circuit formation products for surface preparation; oxides, which are used in the fabrication of multilayer circuit boards; semiconductor materials and packaging products; and pre-treatment and cleaning solutions. This segment also provides functional conversion coatings that are applied to metals to enhance corrosion resistance and paint adhesion; hard-coated films, which are used for the membrane switch in the touch screen markets; production and drilling fluids used in subsea control systems; solid sheet printing elements for use in flexographic printing and platemaking processes; liquid products to produce printing plates; and printing equipment. The Agricultural Solutions segment offers fungicides and biofungicides to prevent the spread of fungi and other diseases in crops; herbicides to control unwanted plants; insecticides, bioinsecticides, and acaricides; biostimulants and nutrition products; and seed treatment products, which are applied to seed before planting, as well as animal health products, such as honey bee protective miticides and veterinary vaccines. The company was formerly known as Platform Acquisition Holdings Limited and changed its name to Platform Specialty Products Corporation in October 2013. Platform Specialty Products Corporation was founded in 1922 and is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida.

W.R. Grace & Co. Company Profile

W. R. Grace & Co. (Grace) is engaged in the production and sale of specialty chemicals and specialty materials. The Company operates in two segments: Grace Catalysts Technologies and Grace Materials Technologies. The Grace Catalysts Technologies segment includes catalysts and related products and technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications. The Grace Materials Technologies segment includes specialty materials, including silica-based and silica-alumina-based materials, used in coatings, consumer, industrial, and pharmaceutical applications. It Grace Catalysts Technologies segment produces and sells catalysts and related products and technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications, including Fluid catalytic cracking catalysts (FCC), Hydroprocessing catalysts (HPC), and Polyolefin catalysts and catalyst supports.

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