POSCO (NYSE: PKX) and Gerdau (NYSE:GGB) are both mid-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares POSCO and Gerdau’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
POSCO 3.60% 4.41% 2.78%
Gerdau -5.73% 3.47% 1.61%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

5.2% of POSCO shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 5.3% of Gerdau shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.0% of POSCO shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.0% of Gerdau shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares POSCO and Gerdau’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
POSCO $50.91 billion 0.46 $6.18 billion $5.58 13.20
Gerdau $10.98 billion 0.37 $1.13 billion ($0.31) -11.45

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

Volatility and Risk

POSCO has a beta of 1.11, suggesting that its share price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Gerdau has a beta of 2.31, suggesting that its share price is 131% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for POSCO and Gerdau, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
POSCO 0 2 3 0 2.60
Gerdau 0 2 4 0 2.67

Dividends

POSCO pays an annual dividend of $0.55 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Gerdau pays an annual dividend of $0.01 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. POSCO pays out 9.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Gerdau pays out -3.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years.

Summary

POSCO beats Gerdau on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

POSCO Company Profile

POSCO is a Korea-based company principally engaged in the manufacture and distribution of steel products. The Company operates in four segments: steel, trading, construction, and others. The steel segment includes production of steel products and sale of such products. The trading segment consists of global trading activities of POSCO Daewoo Corporation, exporting and importing a range of steel products that are both obtained from and supplied to it, as well as between other suppliers and purchasers in Korea and overseas. The construction segment includes planning, designing and construction of industrial plants, civil engineering projects, and commercial and residential buildings, both in Korea and overseas. The others segment includes power generation, liquefied natural gas (LNG) logistics, and network and system integration.

Gerdau Company Profile

Gerdau S.A. (Gerdau) is a manufacturer of long steel in the North and South America. The Company is engaged in the production and commercialization of steel products in general, through its mills located in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Spain, the United States, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. Its segments are Brazil Operations, which includes operations of steel and iron ore in Brazil, except Special Steels, and the operation of metallurgical coal and coke in Colombia; North America Operations, which includes all operations in North America, except those of Mexico and Special Steels; South America Operations, which includes operations in South America, except Brazil and the operation of metallurgical coal and coke in Colombia, and Special Steel Operations, including special steel operations in Brazil, Spain, the United States and India. It supplies its customers a range of products, including iron ore semi-finished products.

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