Marrone Bio Innovations (NASDAQ: MBII) and Ciner Resources (NYSE:CINR) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends and valuation.

Dividends

Ciner Resources pays an annual dividend of $2.27 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.5%. Marrone Bio Innovations does not pay a dividend. Ciner Resources pays out 114.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Marrone Bio Innovations and Ciner Resources, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marrone Bio Innovations 0 2 1 0 2.33
Ciner Resources 0 1 1 0 2.50

Marrone Bio Innovations presently has a consensus target price of $1.75, suggesting a potential upside of 45.83%. Ciner Resources has a consensus target price of $32.50, suggesting a potential upside of 36.27%. Given Marrone Bio Innovations’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Marrone Bio Innovations is more favorable than Ciner Resources.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

29.5% of Marrone Bio Innovations shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 9.0% of Ciner Resources shares are owned by institutional investors. 7.3% of Marrone Bio Innovations shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Marrone Bio Innovations has a beta of 0.3, meaning that its share price is 70% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ciner Resources has a beta of 0.97, meaning that its share price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Marrone Bio Innovations and Ciner Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marrone Bio Innovations -189.32% N/A -59.64%
Ciner Resources 8.18% 15.52% 9.62%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Marrone Bio Innovations and Ciner Resources’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Marrone Bio Innovations $15.53 million 2.42 -$19.96 million N/A N/A
Ciner Resources $487.40 million 0.98 $118.90 million $1.99 11.98

Ciner Resources has higher revenue and earnings than Marrone Bio Innovations.

Summary

Ciner Resources beats Marrone Bio Innovations on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Marrone Bio Innovations Company Profile

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. offers bio-based pest management and plant health products. The Company’s bio-based products include naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and plant extracts. It sells its products to crop protection market. Its four crop protection products include Regalia, Grandevo, Venerate and Majestene. Its products are used in both conventional and organic crop production, and are sold to growers of specialty crops, such as grapes, citrus, tomatoes, vegetables, nuts, leafy greens and ornamental plants. It offers Regalia for large-acre row crops, such as corn and soybeans. Its pipeline of early-stage discoveries and product candidates extends across a range of product types for end markets, including herbicides, fungicides, nematicides, insecticides, algaecides (for algae control), molluscicides (for mussel and snail control), and plant growth and plant stress regulators. It is engaged in developing MBI-010, MBI-110, Haven (MBI-505) and MBI-601.

Ciner Resources Company Profile

Ciner Resources LP, through its subsidiary, Ciner Wyoming LLC (Ciner Wyoming), produces soda ash and serves a global market from its facility in the Green River Basin of Wyoming. The Company processes trona ore into soda ash, a raw material in flat glass, container glass, detergents, chemicals, paper and other consumer and industrial products. As of December 31, 2016, its Green River Basin surface operations were situated on approximately 880 acres in Wyoming, and the Company’s mining operations included approximately 23,500 acres of leased and licensed subsurface mining area. The Company’s mining leases and license are located in two mining beds, designated by the United States Geological Survey as beds 24 and 25, at depths of 800 to 1100 feet, respectively, below the surface. The Company uses a continuous mining technique to mine trona and roof bolt the ceiling simultaneously. The Company’s soda ash is shipped by rail or truck from its Green River Basin operations.

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