Sensient Technologies Corporation (NYSE: SXT) and Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, risk, institutional ownership, profitability and dividends.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

88.6% of Sensient Technologies Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.4% of Huntsman Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Sensient Technologies Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 19.0% of Huntsman Corporation shares are owned by 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Sensient Technologies Corporation and Huntsman Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sensient Technologies Corporation 0 0 2 0 3.00
Huntsman Corporation 0 1 8 0 2.89

Sensient Technologies Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $89.15, suggesting a potential upside of 18.10%. Huntsman Corporation has a consensus price target of $31.33, suggesting a potential upside of 2.56%. Given Sensient Technologies Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Sensient Technologies Corporation is more favorable than Huntsman Corporation.

Dividends

Sensient Technologies Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Huntsman Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Sensient Technologies Corporation pays out 54.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Huntsman Corporation pays out 23.5% 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. Sensient Technologies Corporation has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Sensient Technologies Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Sensient Technologies Corporation and Huntsman Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sensient Technologies Corporation 7.89% 17.34% 8.85%
Huntsman Corporation 5.37% 30.64% 6.06%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Sensient Technologies Corporation and Huntsman Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sensient Technologies Corporation $1.38 billion 2.37 $126.25 million $2.42 31.19
Huntsman Corporation $9.66 billion 0.76 $326.00 million $2.13 14.34

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

Risk & Volatility

Sensient Technologies Corporation has a beta of 1.08, indicating that its share price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Huntsman Corporation has a beta of 2.87, indicating that its share price is 187% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Sensient Technologies Corporation beats Huntsman Corporation on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Sensient Technologies Corporation

Sensient Technologies Corporation is a manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors and fragrances. The Company uses technologies at facilities around the world to develop specialty food and beverage systems, cosmetic and pharmaceutical systems, specialty inks and colors, and other specialty and fine chemicals. The Company’s three segments include the Flavors & Fragrances Group and the Color Group, which are managed on a product-and-services basis, and the Asia Pacific Group, which is managed on a geographic basis. The Company’s principal products include flavors, flavor enhancers and bionutrients; fragrances, aroma chemicals and essential oils; natural ingredients, including dehydrated vegetables and other food ingredients; natural and synthetic food and beverage colors; cosmetic colors and ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients and ingredients, and technical colors, specialty inks and colors, and specialty dyes and pigments.

About Huntsman Corporation

Huntsman Corporation is a manufacturer of differentiated organic chemical products and of inorganic chemical products. The Company operates all of its businesses through its subsidiary, Huntsman International LLC (Huntsman International). The Company operates through five segments: Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials, Textile Effects, and Pigments and Additives. Its Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials and Textile Effects segments produce differentiated organic chemical products and its Pigments and Additives segment produces inorganic chemical products. The Company’s products are used in a range of applications, including those in the adhesives, aerospace, automotive, construction products, personal care and hygiene, durable and non-durable consumer products, digital inks, electronics, medical, packaging, paints and coatings, power generation, refining, synthetic fiber, textile chemicals and dye industries.

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