Analyzing Amyris (AMRS) and Pacific Ethanol (PEIX)

Amyris (NASDAQ: AMRS) and Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Amyris and Pacific Ethanol, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Amyris 0 1 2 0 2.67
Pacific Ethanol 0 0 3 0 3.00

Amyris currently has a consensus price target of $9.67, indicating a potential upside of 92.18%. Pacific Ethanol has a consensus price target of $11.33, indicating a potential upside of 228.50%. Given Pacific Ethanol’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Pacific Ethanol is more favorable than Amyris.

Risk & Volatility

Amyris has a beta of 0.15, meaning that its share price is 85% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pacific Ethanol has a beta of 2.06, meaning that its share price is 106% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Amyris and Pacific Ethanol’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Amyris $143.45 million 1.76 -$72.32 million ($3.05) -1.65
Pacific Ethanol $1.63 billion 0.09 -$34.96 million ($0.85) -4.06

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

24.0% of Amyris shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.3% of Pacific Ethanol shares are owned by institutional investors. 21.8% of Amyris shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.9% of Pacific Ethanol shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Amyris and Pacific Ethanol’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Amyris -85.70% N/A -125.68%
Pacific Ethanol -1.83% -7.78% -4.22%


Pacific Ethanol beats Amyris on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Amyris

Amyris, Inc. provides various alternatives to a range of petroleum-sourced products worldwide. The company uses its industrial bioscience technology to design microbes primarily yeast, as well as to convert plant-sourced sugars into renewable ingredients. It produces and sells Biofene that converts to squalane, which is used as an emollient in cosmetics and other personal care products; and natural oils and aroma chemicals for the flavors and fragrances market. The company also provides renewable solvents, polymers, and lubricants for industrial markets; Biofene ingredients for nutraceuticals and vitamins market; and renewable fuels for transportation fuels markets. It has a collaboration partnership with Total S.A. to produce and commercialize Biofene-based diesel and jet fuels. The company was formerly known as Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc. and changed its name to Amyris, Inc. in June 2010. Amyris, Inc. was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Emeryville, California.

About Pacific Ethanol

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. produces and markets low-carbon renewable fuels in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Production and Marketing. It produces and markets ethanol; specialty alcohols; and co-products, such as wet distillers grains, dry distillers grains with solubles, wet and dry corn gluten feed, condensed distillers solubles, corn gluten meal, corn germ, corn oil, distillers yeast, and CO2, as well as markets ethanol produced by third parties. The company also offers ethanol transportation, storage, and delivery services through third-party service providers. It sells ethanol to integrated oil companies and gasoline marketers; distillers grains and other feed co-products to dairies and feedlots; and corn oil to poultry and biodiesel customers. The company owns and operates nine ethanol production facilities in the Western states of California, Oregon, and Idaho; and in the Midwestern states of Illinois and Nebraska. Pacific Ethanol, Inc. was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Sacramento, California.

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