Minerals Technologies (NYSE: MTX) and Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership and risk.
This is a summary of current ratings for Minerals Technologies and Ecolab, as reported by MarketBeat.com.
||Strong Buy Ratings
Minerals Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $80.00, indicating a potential upside of 5.54%. Ecolab has a consensus price target of $136.38, indicating a potential downside of 0.94%. Given Minerals Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Minerals Technologies is more favorable than Ecolab.
Volatility and Risk
Minerals Technologies has a beta of 2.26, meaning that its stock price is 126% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ecolab has a beta of 1.05, meaning that its stock price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500.
Minerals Technologies pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Ecolab pays an annual dividend of $1.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Minerals Technologies pays out 4.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ecolab pays out 33.3% 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. Ecolab has raised its dividend for 32 consecutive years. Ecolab is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.
Institutional and Insider Ownership
94.6% of Minerals Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.6% of Ecolab shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.2% of Minerals Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.5% of Ecolab shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.
Valuation and Earnings
This table compares Minerals Technologies and Ecolab’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.
||Earnings Per Share
Ecolab has higher revenue and earnings than Minerals Technologies. Minerals Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ecolab, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
This table compares Minerals Technologies and Ecolab’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
||Return on Equity
||Return on Assets
Ecolab beats Minerals Technologies on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.
Minerals Technologies Company Profile
Minerals Technologies Inc. is a resource- and technology-based company that develops, produces and markets a range of specialty mineral, mineral-based and synthetic mineral products and related systems and services around the world. It operates through four segments. The Specialty Minerals segment produces and sells the synthetic mineral product precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), mines mineral ores, and processes and sells natural mineral products, primarily limestone and talc. The Performance Materials segment is a supplier of bentonite and bentonite-related products to industrial and consumer markets globally. The Refractories segment produces and markets monolithic and shaped refractory materials and specialty products, services and application and measurement equipment. The Energy Services segment offers a range of services to improve the production, costs, compliance and environmental impact of activities performed in the oil and gas industry.
Ecolab Company Profile
Ecolab Inc. provides water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. The Company’s cleaning and sanitizing programs and products, pest elimination services and equipment maintenance and repair services support customers in the foodservice, food and beverage processing, hospitality, healthcare, government and education, retail, textile care and commercial facilities management sectors in over 170 countries. Its segments include Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, Other and Corporate. Its Global Industrial segment consists of the Water, Food and Beverage, Paper and Textile Care operating units. Its Global Institutional segment consists of the Institutional, Specialty and Healthcare operating units. The Global Energy segment provides on-site and technology-driven solutions to the global drilling, oil and gas production, refining, and petrochemical industries. The Company’s Other segment consists of the Pest Elimination operating units.
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