Northwest Pipe (NASDAQ: NWPX) and National Steel (NYSE:SID) are both industrial products companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, risk and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

83.4% of Northwest Pipe shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 3.2% of National Steel shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Northwest Pipe shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Northwest Pipe has a beta of 1.3, suggesting that its stock price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Steel has a beta of 2.25, suggesting that its stock price is 125% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Northwest Pipe and National Steel, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Northwest Pipe 0 1 0 0 2.00
National Steel 0 1 0 0 2.00

Northwest Pipe currently has a consensus price target of $9.00, indicating a potential downside of 53.00%. Given Northwest Pipe’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Northwest Pipe is more favorable than National Steel.

Profitability

This table compares Northwest Pipe and National Steel’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Northwest Pipe 0.45% -1.90% -1.65%
National Steel N/A N/A N/A

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Northwest Pipe and National Steel’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Northwest Pipe $138.62 million 1.33 -$4.17 million $0.06 319.17
National Steel $5.14 billion 0.72 $919.47 million $0.25 10.92

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

Summary

National Steel beats Northwest Pipe on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Northwest Pipe Company Profile

Northwest Pipe Company is a manufacturer of engineered steel pipe water systems. The Company operates through two segments. The Water Transmission segment produces steel pipeline systems for use in drinking water infrastructure, and has approximately eight manufacturing facilities, located in Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; Adelanto, California; Parkersburg, West Virginia; Saginaw, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; Salt Lake City, Utah, and Monterrey, Mexico. The Tubular Products segment produces steel line pipe products for energy applications, and has a manufacturing facility located in Atchison, Kansas. The Company, through Water Transmission Group, produces engineered welded steel pipe products for use in water transmission applications. It also manufactures smaller diameter electric resistance welded (ERW) steel pipe through its Tubular Products Group. The Company’s solutions-based products are used in water transmission, plant piping, tunnels and river crossings applications.

National Steel Company Profile

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional is a Brazil-based company engaged in the steel industry. The Company operates throughout the entire steel production chain, from the mining of iron ore to the production and sale of a range of steel products, including coated galvanized flat steel and tinplate. The Company operates in five segments: Steel, Mining, Cement, Logistics and Energy. The Steel segment focuses on the production, distribution and sale of flat steel, long steel, metallic containers and galvanized steel, with operations in Brazil, the United States, Portugal and Germany. The Mining segment encompasses the activities of iron ore and tin mining. The Cement segment is responsible for the cement production, distribution and sale operations. The Logistics segment manages port terminal for containers, as well as railway networks. The Energy segment includes generation of electric power. The Company is controlled by Vicunha Acos SA.

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