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Fairmount Santrol (NYSE: FMSA) and Matrix Service (NASDAQ:MTRX) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, dividends, earnings and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Fairmount Santrol and Matrix Service’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Fairmount Santrol 1.69% 4.05% 0.86%
Matrix Service -0.51% -1.75% -0.96%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Fairmount Santrol and Matrix Service’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Fairmount Santrol $535.01 million 2.19 -$140.19 million $0.06 87.17
Matrix Service $1.20 billion 0.40 -$180,000.00 ($0.22) -80.91

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

Risk and Volatility

Fairmount Santrol has a beta of 2.11, suggesting that its stock price is 111% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Matrix Service has a beta of 0.84, suggesting that its stock price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

75.3% of Fairmount Santrol shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.3% of Matrix Service shares are held by institutional investors. 9.8% of Fairmount Santrol shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.5% of Matrix Service shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Fairmount Santrol and Matrix Service, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Fairmount Santrol 1 8 11 0 2.50
Matrix Service 0 2 0 0 2.00

Fairmount Santrol presently has a consensus target price of $5.96, suggesting a potential upside of 13.88%. Given Fairmount Santrol’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Fairmount Santrol is more favorable than Matrix Service.

Summary

Fairmount Santrol beats Matrix Service on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Fairmount Santrol Company Profile

Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc. is a provider of sand-based proppant solutions. The Company operates through two segments: Proppant Solutions, and Industrial & Recreational (I&R) Products. Its Proppant Solutions segment provides sand-based proppants for use in hydraulic fracturing operations throughout the United States and Canada, Argentina, Mexico, China, northern Europe and the United Arab Emirates. Its I&R segment provides raw, coated, and custom blended sands to the foundry, building products, glass, turf and landscape, and filtration industries in North America. Its asset base includes approximately 800 million tons of proven and probable mineral reserves. As of March 2017, the Company had 10 sand processing facilities with 16.8 million tons of annual sand processing capacity. Its coating facilities include operations in Mexico, Denmark and China, through which it serves international oil and gas markets.

Matrix Service Company Profile

Matrix Service Company provides engineering, fabrication, infrastructure, construction and maintenance services primarily to the oil, gas, power, petrochemical, industrial, mining and minerals markets. The Company’s segments include Electrical Infrastructure, Oil Gas & Chemical, Storage Solutions and Industrial. The Electrical Infrastructure segment primarily includes construction and maintenance services to a range of power generation facilities, such as combined cycle plants, natural gas fired power stations and renewable energy installations. The Oil Gas & Chemical segment includes turnaround activities, plant maintenance services and construction in the downstream petroleum industry. The Storage Solutions segment includes new construction of crude and refined products aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), as well as planned and emergency maintenance services. The Industrial segment includes construction and maintenance work in the iron and steel and mining and minerals industries.

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