Ferro (NYSE: FOE) and Kronos Worldwide (NYSE:KRO) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Ferro and Kronos Worldwide, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ferro 0 0 4 0 3.00
Kronos Worldwide 1 2 0 0 1.67

Ferro presently has a consensus target price of $23.00, suggesting a potential downside of 3.97%. Kronos Worldwide has a consensus target price of $24.00, suggesting a potential downside of 5.51%. Given Ferro’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Ferro is more favorable than Kronos Worldwide.

Dividends

Kronos Worldwide pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Ferro does not pay a dividend. Kronos Worldwide pays out 21.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Ferro and Kronos Worldwide’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ferro 3.44% 35.77% 7.57%
Kronos Worldwide 20.52% 31.38% 12.00%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

97.9% of Ferro shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 16.2% of Kronos Worldwide shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Ferro shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.1% of Kronos Worldwide shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Ferro has a beta of 1.9, suggesting that its share price is 90% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Kronos Worldwide has a beta of 2.18, suggesting that its share price is 118% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Ferro and Kronos Worldwide’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ferro $1.15 billion 1.75 -$20.81 million $0.52 46.06
Kronos Worldwide $1.36 billion 2.16 $43.30 million $2.86 8.88

Kronos Worldwide has higher revenue and earnings than Ferro. Kronos Worldwide is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ferro, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Ferro Company Profile

Ferro Corporation (Ferro) produces specialty materials that are sold to a range of manufacturers. The Company’s segments include Performance Coatings (metal and ceramic coatings), Performance Colors and Glass (glass coatings), and Color Solutions. Its Performance Coatings segment includes Tile Coating Systems and Porcelain Enamel. Its manufacturers make products for various end-use markets. The Company’s products fall into two general categories: functional coatings, which perform specific functions in the manufacturing processes and end products of its customers, and color solutions, which provide aesthetic and performance characteristics to its customers’ products. Its products are used in a range of product applications in markets, including appliances, automobiles, building and renovation, electronics, household furnishings, industrial products and packaging.

Kronos Worldwide Company Profile

Kronos Worldwide, Inc. (Kronos) is a producer and marketer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments, a base industrial product that is used in a range of applications. The Company, along with its distributors and agents, sells and provides technical services for its products with sales in Europe and North America. It offers its customers a portfolio of products that include TiO2 pigment grades under the Kronos brand, which provides a range of performance properties. It offers its products to domestic and international paint, plastics, decorative laminate and paper manufacturers. It ships TiO2 to its customers in either a powder or slurry form through rail, truck or ocean carrier. It sells and provides technical services for its products in three end use markets, which include coatings, plastics and paper. It produces TiO2 in two crystalline forms, which include rutile and anatase. Rutile TiO2 is manufactured using both a chloride production process and a sulfate production process.

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