The shares of LaSalle Hotel Properties have increased by more than 22.19% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -0.12% or -$0.04 and now trades at $34.30. The shares of Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), has slumped by -26.91% year to date as of 05/31/2018. The shares currently trade at $93.47 and have been able to report a change of -8.22% over the past one week.
The stock of LaSalle Hotel Properties and Albemarle Corporation were two of the most active stocks on Thursday. 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.
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. LHO has an EBITDA margin of 29.51%, this implies that the underlying business of LHO is more profitable. The ROI of LHO is 4.10% while that of ALB is 10.40%. These figures suggest that ALB ventures generate a higher ROI than that of LHO.
The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, LHO’s free cash flow per share is a negative -1.4, while that of ALB is also a negative -1.48.
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 LHO is 0.46 compared to 0.39 for ALB. LHO can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than ALB.
LHO currently trades at a forward P/E of 58.33, a P/B of 1.64, and a P/S of 3.63 while ALB trades at a forward P/E of 15.86, a P/B of 2.72, and a P/S of 3.27. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, LHO 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 LHO is currently at a 12.16% to its one-year price target of 30.58. Looking at its rival pricing, ALB is at a -27.32% relative to its price target of 128.60.
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), LHO is given a 2.80 while 2.20 placed for ALB. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for LHO 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 LHO is 1.12 while that of ALB is just 6.73. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for LHO stock.
The stock of LaSalle Hotel Properties defeats that of Albemarle Corporation when the two are compared, with LHO taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. LHO 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, LHO is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for LHO is better on when it is viewed on short interest.