Earnings

Financially Devastating or Fantastic? – Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF), Orion Engineered Carbons, S.A. (OEC)

The shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. have increased by more than 9.18% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -2.11% or -$0.41 and now trades at $19.03. The shares of Orion Engineered Carbons, S.A. (NYSE:OEC), has jumped by 3.16% year to date as of 10/10/2018. The shares currently trade at $26.41 and have been able to report a change of -19.46% over the past one week.

The stock of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Orion Engineered Carbons, S.A. were two of the most active stocks on Wednesday. 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: 18.00% versus 16.20%

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 ANF will grow it’s earning at a 18.00% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to OEC which will have a positive growth at a 16.20% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of ANF 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. ANF has an EBITDA margin of 8.96%, this implies that the underlying business of ANF is more profitable. The ROI of ANF is 3.20% while that of OEC is 12.10%. These figures suggest that OEC ventures generate a higher ROI than that of ANF.

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, ANF’s free cash flow per share is a positive 0.63, while that of OEC is negative -2.55.

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 current ratio for ANF is 2.20 and that of OEC is 2.00. This implies that it is easier for ANF to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than OEC. The debt ratio of ANF is 0.00 compared to 5.15 for OEC. OEC can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than ANF.

Valuation

ANF currently trades at a forward P/E of 19.44, a P/B of 1.14, and a P/S of 0.35 while OEC trades at a forward P/E of 10.55, a P/B of 12.00, and a P/S of 1.11. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, ANF 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 ANF is currently at a -16.64% to its one-year price target of 22.83. Looking at its rival pricing, OEC is at a -27.98% relative to its price target of 36.67.

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), ANF is given a 3.10 while 2.30 placed for OEC. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for ANF 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 ANF is 6.54 while that of OEC is just 2.07. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for OEC stock.

Conclusion

The stock of Orion Engineered Carbons, S.A. defeats that of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. when the two are compared, with OEC taking 5 out of the total factors that were been considered. OEC 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, OEC is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for OEC is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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