Stantec (NYSE: STN) and IES (NASDAQ:IESC) are both business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation, profitability and institutional ownership.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Stantec and IES’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Stantec $3.22 billion 0.89 $98.59 million $0.77 32.86
IES $810.70 million 0.42 $13.42 million ($0.96) -16.51

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Stantec and IES, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Stantec 0 1 2 0 2.67
IES 0 0 0 0 N/A

Stantec currently has a consensus target price of $40.00, suggesting a potential upside of 58.10%. Given Stantec’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Stantec is more favorable than IES.

Risk & Volatility

Stantec has a beta of 1.59, suggesting that its stock price is 59% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, IES has a beta of 0.71, suggesting that its stock price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Stantec and IES’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Stantec 2.24% 10.69% 5.03%
IES -2.46% 5.86% 3.26%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

55.3% of Stantec shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.5% of IES shares are held by institutional investors. 60.0% of IES shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


Stantec pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. IES does not pay a dividend. Stantec pays out 51.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. IES has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.


Stantec beats IES on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Stantec

Stantec Inc. is a provider of professional services in the area of infrastructure and facilities for clients in the public and private sectors. The Company’s operates through four segments Consulting Services-Canada, Consulting Services-United States, Consulting Services-Global and Construction Services. The Company’s services include engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, construction services, project management, and project economics, from initial project concept and planning through to design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, decommissioning and remediation. The Company provides professional consulting services in engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental services, project management and project economics in the area of infrastructure and facilities, principally under fee-for-service agreements with clients.

About IES

IES Holdings, Inc., formerly Integrated Electrical Services, Inc., is a holding company that owns and manages diverse operating subsidiaries across a range of infrastructure-related end markets. The Company operates through four segments: Communications, Residential, Commercial & Industrial, and Infrastructure Solutions. The Communications segment provides network infrastructure services for data centers and other mission critical environments. The Residential segment provides electrical installation services for single-family housing and multi-family apartment complexes and cable television installations for residential and light commercial applications. The Commercial & Industrial segment provides electrical and mechanical design, construction, and maintenance services to the commercial and industrial markets. The Company’s Infrastructure Solutions segment provides electro-mechanical solutions for industrial operations to domestic and international customers.

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