Fairmount Santrol (NYSE: FMSA) and Compass Minerals International (NYSE:CMP) are both industrial products companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Fairmount Santrol and Compass Minerals International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Fairmount Santrol 8.89% 33.29% 7.96%
Compass Minerals International 2.39% 12.03% 3.47%

Dividends

Compass Minerals International pays an annual dividend of $2.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.3%. Fairmount Santrol does not pay a dividend. Compass Minerals International pays out 104.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Compass Minerals International has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Fairmount Santrol and Compass Minerals International, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Fairmount Santrol 1 6 8 0 2.47
Compass Minerals International 1 1 4 0 2.50

Fairmount Santrol presently has a consensus price target of $5.88, indicating a potential upside of 4.35%. Compass Minerals International has a consensus price target of $71.50, indicating a potential upside of 7.92%. Given Compass Minerals International’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Compass Minerals International is more favorable than Fairmount Santrol.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Fairmount Santrol and Compass Minerals International’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Fairmount Santrol $959.79 million 1.32 $53.78 million $0.24 23.46
Compass Minerals International $1.36 billion 1.64 $42.70 million $2.75 24.09

Fairmount Santrol has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Compass Minerals International. Fairmount Santrol is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Compass Minerals International, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

71.5% of Fairmount Santrol shares are owned by institutional investors. 9.8% of Fairmount Santrol shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of Compass Minerals International shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Fairmount Santrol has a beta of 2.13, meaning that its stock price is 113% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Compass Minerals International has a beta of 0.59, meaning that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Fairmount Santrol beats Compass Minerals International on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Fairmount Santrol

Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides sand-based proppant solutions for exploration and production companies. The company operates in two segments, Proppant Solutions and Industrial & Recreational Products. The Proppant Solutions segment primarily provides sand-based proppants for use in hydraulic fracturing operations in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, China, and northern Europe. Its products include northern white frac sand, API-spec brown sand, and coated sand products; and Propel SSP product that utilizes a polymer coating applied to a proppant substrate. The Industrial & Recreational Products segment offers raw, coated, and custom blended sands for use in building products, foundry, glass, turf and landscape, and filtration industries primarily in North America. Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc. also supplies proppants to oilfield service companies. The company was formerly known as FMSA Holdings Inc. and changed its name to Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc. in July 2015. Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc. was incorporated in 1986 and is headquartered in Chesterland, Ohio.

About Compass Minerals International

Compass Minerals International, Inc., produces and sells salt, and specialty plant nutrition and chemical products primarily in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. It operates in three segments: Salt, Plant Nutrition North America, and Plant Nutrition South America. The Salt segment offers sodium chloride and magnesium chloride, including rock salt, mechanically and solar evaporated salt, and brine and flake magnesium chloride products; and purchases potassium chloride and calcium chloride to sell as finished products or to blend with salt to produce specialty products. This segment provides products for use as a deicer for roadways, consumer, and professional use; as an ingredient in chemical production; for water treatment, human, and animal nutrition; and for various other consumer and industrial uses, as well as provides records management services. The Plant Nutrition North America segment offers sulfate of potash specialty fertilizers in various grades, including agricultural products used in broadcast spreaders, direct application, and liquid fertilizer solutions; turf products used by the turf and ornamental markets, as well as for blends used on golf course greens; organic products under the Protassium+ brand; and micronutrient products under the Wolf Trax brand, as well as specialty plant nutrition solution-based products and chemical solutions. This segment provides its products to distributors and retailers of crop inputs, as well as growers. The Plant Nutrition South America segment offers various specialty plant nutrients and supplements; water and wastewater treatment chemicals for cleaning, decontaminating, and purifying water; and process chemicals for industrial use. The company was formerly known as Salt Holdings Corporation and changed its name to Compass Minerals International, Inc. in December 2003. Compass Minerals International, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.

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