Head to Head Survey: Ingevity (NGVT) and Airgas (ARG)

Ingevity (NYSE: NGVT) and Airgas (NYSE:ARG) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

91.1% of Ingevity shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.1% of Ingevity shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Airgas pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Ingevity does not pay a dividend. Airgas pays out 53.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Airgas has increased its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ingevity and Airgas’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ingevity $908.30 million 3.27 $35.20 million $2.22 31.74
Airgas N/A N/A N/A $4.53 31.56

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Ingevity and Airgas, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ingevity 0 0 5 0 3.00
Airgas 0 0 0 0 N/A

Ingevity currently has a consensus price target of $79.20, suggesting a potential upside of 12.39%. Given Ingevity’s higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Ingevity is more favorable than Airgas.

Profitability

This table compares Ingevity and Airgas’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ingevity 9.86% 58.14% 12.09%
Airgas 5.98% 15.44% 5.04%

Summary

Ingevity beats Airgas on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ingevity

Ingevity Corporation is a manufacturer of specialty chemicals and high performance carbon materials. The Company is also a manufacturer of activated carbon used in gasoline vapor emission control systems in cars, trucks, motorcycles and boats. The Company operates through two segments: Performance Materials and Performance Chemicals. The Performance Materials segment primarily produces automotive carbon products used in gasoline vapor emission control systems in cars, trucks, motorcycles and boats. The Performance Chemicals segment develops, manufactures and sells a range of specialty chemicals primarily derived from co-products of the Kraft pulping process. Its products are used in a range of applications, including asphalt paving, oil exploration and production, agrochemicals, adhesives, lubricants, publication inks and automotive components that reduce gasoline vapor emissions.

About Airgas

Airgas, Inc. is a supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hard goods, such as welding equipment and related products. The Company is also a producer of atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, dry ice and nitrous oxide and a supplier of safety products, refrigerants, ammonia products and process chemicals. It operates through two segments: Distribution and All Other Operations. The Distribution segment offers a portfolio of related gas and hard goods products and services to the end customers. The All Other Operations segment consists of five business units which manufacture or distribute carbon dioxide, dry ice, nitrous oxide, ammonia and refrigerant gases. It also offers supply chain management services and solutions, and product and process technical support across many customer segments. It markets its products and services through multiple sales channels, including branch-based sales representatives, retail stores and strategic customer account programs, among others.

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