GCP Applied Technologies (NYSE: GCP) and Smart Sand (NASDAQ:SND) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for GCP Applied Technologies and Smart Sand, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
GCP Applied Technologies 0 1 4 0 2.80
Smart Sand 0 4 6 0 2.60

GCP Applied Technologies currently has a consensus price target of $34.20, indicating a potential upside of 3.64%. Smart Sand has a consensus price target of $13.28, indicating a potential upside of 60.94%. Given Smart Sand’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Smart Sand is more favorable than GCP Applied Technologies.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares GCP Applied Technologies and Smart Sand’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
GCP Applied Technologies $1.36 billion 1.74 $72.80 million ($0.54) -61.11
Smart Sand $59.23 million 5.63 $10.37 million $0.66 12.50

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

Profitability

This table compares GCP Applied Technologies and Smart Sand’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
GCP Applied Technologies 56.84% 124.93% 3.91%
Smart Sand 17.92% 16.18% 13.21%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

84.0% of GCP Applied Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 49.6% of Smart Sand shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of GCP Applied Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 46.4% of Smart Sand shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

GCP Applied Technologies beats Smart Sand on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

GCP Applied Technologies Company Profile

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.

Smart Sand Company Profile

Smart Sand, Inc. is a producer of Northern White raw frac sand, which is a proppant used to enhance hydrocarbon recovery rates in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells. The Company sells its products primarily to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies and oilfield service companies under a combination of long-term take-or-pay contracts and spot sales in the open market. It owns and operates a raw frac sand mine and related processing facility near Oakdale, Wisconsin. In addition to the Oakdale facility, it owns a second property in Jackson County, Wisconsin, known as Hixton site. Its sand reserves include a balanced concentration of coarse (20/40, 30/50 and 40/70 gradation) sands and fine (60/140 gradation) sand. Its reserves contain deposits of approximately 20% of 20/40 and coarser substrate, over 40% of 40/70 mesh substrate and approximately 40% of 100-mesh substrate. Its 30/50 gradation is a derivative of the 20/40 and 40/70 blends.

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