Head-To-Head Comparison: Allegheny Technologies (ATI) and Aqua Metals (AQMS)

Allegheny Technologies (NYSE: ATI) and Aqua Metals (NASDAQ:AQMS) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Allegheny Technologies and Aqua Metals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Allegheny Technologies -2.45% 1.09% 0.31%
Aqua Metals N/A -35.51% -27.81%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Allegheny Technologies and Aqua Metals’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Allegheny Technologies $3.31 billion 0.82 $295.80 million ($0.78) -31.85
Aqua Metals $602,999.00 126.07 -$15.80 million ($1.21) -3.12

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

43.1% of Aqua Metals shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.1% of Allegheny Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 19.7% of Aqua Metals shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Allegheny Technologies and Aqua Metals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Allegheny Technologies 0 5 3 0 2.38
Aqua Metals 0 0 6 0 3.00

Allegheny Technologies presently has a consensus target price of $20.57, suggesting a potential downside of 17.18%. Aqua Metals has a consensus target price of $28.60, suggesting a potential upside of 658.62%. Given Aqua Metals’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Aqua Metals is more favorable than Allegheny Technologies.

Volatility & Risk

Allegheny Technologies has a beta of 2.51, indicating that its share price is 151% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aqua Metals has a beta of 1.49, indicating that its share price is 49% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Aqua Metals beats Allegheny Technologies on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Allegheny Technologies

Allegheny Technologies Incorporated is a manufacturer of specialty materials and complex components. The Company operates through two business segments: High Performance Materials & Components (HPMC), and Flat Rolled Products (FRP). The HPMC segment produces, converts and distributes a range of materials, including titanium and titanium-based alloys, nickel- and cobalt-based alloys and superalloys, zirconium and related alloys, including hafnium and niobium, advanced powder alloys and other specialty materials, in long product forms, such as ingot, billet, bar, rod, wire, shapes and rectangles, and seamless tubes, plus precision forgings, castings, components and machined parts. The FRP segment produces, converts and distributes stainless steel, nickel-based alloys, specialty alloys, and titanium and titanium-based alloys, in a range of product forms, including plate, sheet, engineered strip, and Precision Rolled Strip products.

About Aqua Metals

Aqua Metals, Inc. is engaged in the business of recycling lead through a process that the Company developed and named AquaRefining. The Company’s AquaRefining process focuses on providing for the recycling of lead acid batteries (LABs) and the production of lead. AquaRefining uses bio-degradable aqueous solvent and an ambient temperature electro-chemical process to produce lead. The modular nature of AquaRefining makes it possible to start LAB recycling at a much smaller scale than is possible with smelters. Its AquaRefining process begins with the crushing of used LABs and the separation of the metallic lead, active material (lead compounds), sulfuric acid and plastic for recycling. The active material is dissolved in its solvent. The primary lead is then stripped from the solvent using its automated process allowing the solvent to be reused continuously and indefinitely. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had not generated revenues.

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