Global

Set Sail With Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT), Synchrony Financial (SYF)

The shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. have increased by more than 3.04% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -1.69% or -$0.32 and now trades at $18.64. The shares of Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF), has jumped by 3.09% year to date as of 12/05/2017. The shares currently trade at $37.39 and have been able to report a change of 5.77% over the past one week.

The stock of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Synchrony Financial were two of the most active stocks on Tueday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

Next 5Y EPS Growth: 5.74% versus 9.49%

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that POT will grow it’s earning at a 5.74% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to SYF which will have a positive growth at a 9.49% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of SYF implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.



Profitability and Returns

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. The ROI of POT is 4.20% while that of SYF is 23.90%. These figures suggest that SYF ventures generate a higher ROI than that of POT.

Cash Flow 




The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, POT’s free cash flow per share is a positive 1.13, while that of SYF is positive 18.37.

Liquidity and Financial Risk

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The debt ratio of POT is 0.53 compared to 1.38 for SYF. SYF can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than POT.

Valuation

POT currently trades at a forward P/E of 26.67, a P/B of 1.84, and a P/S of 3.46 while SYF trades at a forward P/E of 11.75, a P/B of 2.04, and a P/S of 1.83. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, POT is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

Analyst Price Targets and Opinions

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of POT is currently at a -14.06% to its one-year price target of 21.69. Looking at its rival pricing, SYF is at a -1.61% relative to its price target of 38.00. This figure implies that over the next one year, SYF is a better investment.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), POT is given a 2.70 while 2.10 placed for SYF. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for POT stocks.

Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for POT is 1.86 while that of SYF is just 2.04. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for POT stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. defeats that of Synchrony Financial when the two are compared, with POT taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. POT happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, POT is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for POT is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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