L.B. Foster (NASDAQ: FSTR) and Mechel PAO (NYSE:MTL) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, profitability and dividends.

Volatility & Risk

L.B. Foster has a beta of 2.21, suggesting that its share price is 121% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mechel PAO has a beta of -1.09, suggesting that its share price is 209% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

71.1% of L.B. Foster shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 8.3% of Mechel PAO shares are held by institutional investors. 15.2% of L.B. Foster shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 36.3% of Mechel PAO shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares L.B. Foster and Mechel PAO’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
L.B. Foster -9.83% -27.82% -10.07%
Mechel PAO N/A N/A N/A

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares L.B. Foster and Mechel PAO’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
L.B. Foster $484.77 million 0.43 $23.17 million ($4.49) -4.53
Mechel PAO $9.52 billion 0.11 $2.49 billion N/A N/A

Mechel PAO has higher revenue and earnings than L.B. Foster.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for L.B. Foster and Mechel PAO, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
L.B. Foster 0 0 0 0 N/A
Mechel PAO 1 0 0 0 1.00


Mechel PAO beats L.B. Foster on 6 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

L.B. Foster Company Profile

L.B. Foster Company is a manufacturer, fabricator and distributor of products and services for the rail, construction, energy and utility markets. The Company’s segments include Rail Products and Services, Construction Products, and Tubular and Energy Services. Its Rail Products segment provides a range of new and used rail, trackwork and accessories to railroads, mines and industry. The Rail segment designs and produces concrete railroad ties, insulated rail joints, power rail, track fasteners, coverboards and special accessories for mass transit and other rail systems. The Construction Products segment sells and rents steel sheet piling, H-bearing pile and other piling products for foundation and earth retention requirements. The Tubular and Energy Services segment supplies pipe coatings for natural gas pipelines and utilities, blending, injection and metering equipment for the oil and gas market, and produces threaded pipe products for industrial water well and irrigation markets.

Mechel PAO Company Profile

Mechel PAO, formerly Mechel OAO, is a holding company. The Company operates in the mining, steel and power industry segments. Its segments include Steel segment, comprising production and sales of semi-finished steel products, carbon and specialty long products, carbon and stainless flat products, and value-added downstream metal products, including forgings, stampings, and hardware, and ferrosilicon; Mining segment, comprising production and sales of coal (coking and steam), and middlings, coke and chemical products, and iron ore, which supplies raw materials to the Steel and Power segments, and also sells raw materials to third parties, and Power segment, comprising generation and sales of electricity and heat power, which supplies electricity and heat power to the Steel and Mining segments, and also sells a portion of electricity and heat power to third parties. It has freight seaports in Russia on the Sea of Japan and on the Sea of Azov, and a freight river port on the Kama River.

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