Koppers Holdings (NYSE: KOP) and Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Koppers Holdings and Celanese Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Koppers Holdings 5.53% 146.24% 7.28%
Celanese Corporation 14.89% 31.23% 11.24%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

87.9% of Koppers Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.2% of Celanese Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.9% of Koppers Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Celanese Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Celanese Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Koppers Holdings does not pay a dividend. Celanese Corporation pays out 31.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Koppers Holdings has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years and Celanese Corporation has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

Koppers Holdings has a beta of 0.97, indicating that its share price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Celanese Corporation has a beta of 1.28, indicating that its share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Koppers Holdings and Celanese Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Koppers Holdings 0 1 3 0 2.75
Celanese Corporation 1 4 8 1 2.64

Koppers Holdings currently has a consensus target price of $45.75, suggesting a potential upside of 8.80%. Celanese Corporation has a consensus target price of $102.62, suggesting a potential downside of 1.27%. Given Koppers Holdings’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Koppers Holdings is more favorable than Celanese Corporation.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Koppers Holdings and Celanese Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Koppers Holdings $1.41 billion 0.62 $169.90 million $1.98 21.24
Celanese Corporation $5.62 billion 2.54 $1.16 billion $5.89 17.65

Celanese Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Koppers Holdings. Celanese Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Koppers Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Celanese Corporation beats Koppers Holdings on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Koppers Holdings Company Profile

Koppers Holdings Inc. is a global integrated provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals and carbon compounds. The Company operates through three segments: Railroad and Utility Products and Services (RUPS), Carbon Materials and Chemicals (CMC) and Performance Chemicals (PC). The RUPS business sells treated and untreated wood products, rail joint bars and services primarily to the railroad markets. The primary products supplied by PC business are copper-based wood preservatives, including micronized copper quaternary and micronized copper azole (MicroPro), micronized pigments (MicroShades) and chromated copper arsenate. Through CMC business, the Company processes coal tar into a range of products, including carbon pitch, creosote and carbon black feedstock. Its products and services are used in a range of markets, including the railroad, specialty chemical, utility, residential lumber, agriculture, aluminum, steel, rubber and construction industries.

Celanese Corporation Company Profile

Celanese Corporation (Celanese) is a technology and specialty materials company. The Company’s segments include Advanced Engineered Materials, Consumer Specialties, Industrial Specialties, Acetyl Intermediates and Other Activities. The Advanced Engineered Materials segment includes the Company’s engineered materials business and certain affiliates. The Consumer Specialties segment includes the Company’s cellulose derivatives and food ingredients businesses, which serve consumer-driven applications. The Industrial Specialties segment includes the Company’s emulsion polymers and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) polymers businesses. The Acetyl Intermediates segment includes the Company’s intermediate chemistry business, which produces and supplies acetyl products, including acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), acetic anhydride and acetate esters. The Company has operations in North America, Europe and Asia. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had 30 global production facilities.

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