Stericycle (NASDAQ: SRCL) and Heritage-Crystal Clean (NASDAQ:HCCI) are both business services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk and institutional ownership.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.7% of Stericycle shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 55.1% of Heritage-Crystal Clean shares are held by institutional investors. 3.3% of Stericycle shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 14.8% of Heritage-Crystal Clean shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Stericycle and Heritage-Crystal Clean’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Stericycle -0.07% 14.35% 5.79%
Heritage-Crystal Clean 4.92% 7.69% 5.18%

Risk and Volatility

Stericycle has a beta of 0.15, meaning that its share price is 85% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Heritage-Crystal Clean has a beta of 2.09, meaning that its share price is 109% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Stericycle and Heritage-Crystal Clean’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Stericycle $3.61 billion 1.66 $777.58 million ($0.26) -270.23
Heritage-Crystal Clean $355.46 million 1.30 $41.31 million $0.76 26.97

Stericycle has higher revenue and earnings than Heritage-Crystal Clean. Stericycle is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Heritage-Crystal Clean, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Stericycle and Heritage-Crystal Clean, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Stericycle 2 5 6 0 2.31
Heritage-Crystal Clean 0 1 4 0 2.80

Stericycle presently has a consensus target price of $80.91, suggesting a potential upside of 15.16%. Heritage-Crystal Clean has a consensus target price of $20.40, suggesting a potential downside of 0.49%. Given Stericycle’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Stericycle is more favorable than Heritage-Crystal Clean.


Stericycle beats Heritage-Crystal Clean on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Stericycle Company Profile

Stericycle, Inc. is a business-to-business services provider. The Company focuses on regulated and compliance solutions for healthcare, retail, and commercial businesses. The Company’s segments include Domestic and Canada Regulated Waste and Compliance Services (RCS), Domestic Communication and Related Services (CRS), International RCS and All other. The Domestic and Canada RCS and International RCS segments include medical waste disposal, pharmaceutical waste disposal, hazardous waste management, sustainability solutions for expired or unused inventory, secure information destruction of documents and e-media, training and consulting through its Steri-Safe and Clinical Services programs, and other regulatory compliance services. The Domestic CRS segment consists of inbound/outbound communication, automated patient reminders, online scheduling, notifications, product retrievals, product returns and quality audits.

Heritage-Crystal Clean Company Profile

Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. provides full-service parts cleaning, containerized waste management, used oil collection, vacuum truck services and antifreeze recycling. The Company owns and operates a used oil re-refinery. The Company operates through two segments: Environmental Services and Oil Business. The Company provides hazardous and non-hazardous waste services to small and mid-sized customers in both the manufacturing and vehicle maintenance sectors. The Environmental Services segment consists of the Company’s parts cleaning, containerized waste management, vacuum truck services, used antifreeze recycling activities and field services. The Oil Business segment consists of used oil collection activities, sale of recycled fuel oil, re-refining activities, and oil filter removal and disposal services. Through its re-refining process, the Company recycles used oil into lubricant base oil and by-products, and it is a supplier to firms that produce and market finished lubricants.

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