Clean Harbors (NYSE: CLH) and Sharps Compliance (NASDAQ:SMED) are both business services companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, risk and valuation.

Risk & Volatility

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Clean Harbors has a beta of 1.01, meaning that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sharps Compliance has a beta of 0.62, meaning that its share price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Clean Harbors and Sharps Compliance’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Clean Harbors 3.42% 1.36% 0.41%
Sharps Compliance 0.33% 0.54% 0.39%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.7% of Clean Harbors shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 24.1% of Sharps Compliance shares are held by institutional investors. 8.9% of Clean Harbors shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 20.4% of Sharps Compliance shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Clean Harbors and Sharps Compliance, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Clean Harbors 1 5 4 0 2.30
Sharps Compliance 0 0 2 0 3.00

Clean Harbors presently has a consensus target price of $58.33, indicating a potential upside of 20.08%. Sharps Compliance has a consensus target price of $7.00, indicating a potential upside of 58.73%. Given Sharps Compliance’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Sharps Compliance is more favorable than Clean Harbors.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Clean Harbors and Sharps Compliance’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Clean Harbors $2.94 billion 0.93 $100.73 million $0.33 147.21
Sharps Compliance $38.19 million 1.86 -$1.29 million ($0.04) -110.25

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

Summary

Clean Harbors beats Sharps Compliance on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Clean Harbors Company Profile

Clean Harbors, Inc. provides environmental, energy, and industrial services in North America. It operates through Technical Services; Industrial and Field Services; Safety-Kleen; and Oil, Gas and Lodging Services segments. The company's Technical Services segment provides a range of hazardous material management services, including the packaging, collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at its incinerator, landfill, wastewater, and other treatment facilities. Its Industrial and Field Services segment offers industrial and specialty services, such as high-pressure and chemical cleaning, daylighting, production servicing, decoking, pigging, and material processing to refineries, chemical plants, oil sands facilities, pulp and paper mills, and other industrial facilities. This segment also provides environmental cleanup services consisting of tank cleaning, decontamination, remediation, and spill cleanup. The company's Safety-Kleen segment offers parts cleaning, containerized waste, used oil collection, and vacuum services, as well as other environmental services and products, such as degreasers, glass and floor cleaners, hand cleaners, absorbents, windshield washer fluids, mats, and spill kits. This segment also manufactures, formulates, packages, blends, distributes, and markets lubricants. Its Oil, Gas and Lodging Services segment provides surface rental, seismic support, and directional boring services to the energy sector serving oil and gas exploration, and power generation. This segment also offers lodges and remote workforce accommodation facilities, including open lodges, as well as operator and drill camps in Western Canada; and manufactures modular units and wastewater processing plants. The company operates through a network of approximately 465 service locations in 49 states, 9 Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Clean Harbors, Inc. was founded in 1980 and is based in Norwell, Massachusetts.

Sharps Compliance Company Profile

Sharps Compliance Corp. provides medical, pharmaceutical, and hazardous waste management services in the United States. It offers Sharps Recovery System for the containment, transportation, treatment, and tracking of medical waste and used healthcare materials generated outside the hospital and health care facility settings; TakeAway Medication Recovery System, a solution that facilitates the proper disposal of unused medications; MedSafe, a solution for the safe collection, transportation, and proper disposal of unwanted and expired prescription medications; and ComplianceTRAC, a Web-based compliance and training program. The company also provides Route-Based Pickup Service, a waste management service, which offers medical and hazardous waste pick-up services; TakeAway Recycle System, a solution for the collection and recycling of single-use medical devices from surgical centers and other healthcare facilities; and Universal Waste Shipback Systems, a solution for the collection, transportation, and recycling of light bulbs, batteries, and other mercury containing devices. In addition, it offers other solutions, such as TakeAway Environmental Return System, SharpsTracer, Sharps Secure, Needle Disposal System, Complete Needle Collection and Disposal System, Pitch-It IV Poles, Asset Return System, and Spill Kit and Recovery System, as well as Sharps MWMS, a medical waste management system. The company serves customers in home health care, retail clinics and immunizing pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, professional offices, assisted living and long-term care facilities, government, consumers, commercial, and agriculture markets, as well as distributors. Sharps Compliance Corp. was founded in 1992 and is based in Houston, Texas.

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