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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

72.2% of Carbo Ceramics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 68.9% of IRIS International shares are held by institutional investors. 16.2% of Carbo Ceramics shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 9.7% of IRIS International shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Carbo Ceramics and IRIS International, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Carbo Ceramics 1 5 1 0 2.00
IRIS International 0 0 0 0 N/A

Carbo Ceramics presently has a consensus target price of $11.00, suggesting a potential upside of 50.27%. Given Carbo Ceramics’ higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Carbo Ceramics is more favorable than IRIS International.

Risk & Volatility

Carbo Ceramics has a beta of 1.76, suggesting that its share price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, IRIS International has a beta of 1.37, suggesting that its share price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Carbo Ceramics and IRIS International’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%
IRIS International -61.58% -36.70% -29.47%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Carbo Ceramics and IRIS International’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 1.56 -$64.41 million ($3.53) -2.07
IRIS International $47.70 million 0.82 -$24.80 million ($2.49) -1.30

IRIS International has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Carbo Ceramics. Carbo Ceramics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than IRIS International, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Carbo Ceramics beats IRIS International on 9 of the 12 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.

IRIS International Company Profile

Mitcham Industries, Inc. is a provider of equipment to the geophysical, oceanographic and hydrographic industries. The Company operates through two segments. The Equipment Leasing segment is primarily engaged in the leasing of seismic equipment to companies in the oil and gas industry across the world. The Equipment Manufacturing and Sales segment is engaged in the design, production and sale of marine seismic equipment, and oceanographic and hydrographic equipment. Its leasing business includes Mitcham Canada ULC, Seismic Asia Pacific Pty Ltd., Mitcham Seismic Eurasia LLC, Mitcham Europe Ltd. and Mitcham Marine Leasing Pte. Ltd. The Equipment Manufacturing and Sales Segment includes its Seamap International Holdings Pte, Ltd. (Seamap) business and Klein Marine Systems, Inc. (Klein). Seamap designs, manufactures and sells a range of products for the seismic, hydrographic and offshore industries. Klein develops and manufactures high performance side scan sonar systems.

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