Critical Survey: Aspen Technology (AZPN) versus AgroFresh Solutions (AGFS)

Aspen Technology (NASDAQ: AZPN) and AgroFresh Solutions (NASDAQ:AGFS) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Aspen Technology and AgroFresh Solutions, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Aspen Technology 0 4 3 0 2.43
AgroFresh Solutions 0 1 0 0 2.00

Aspen Technology presently has a consensus target price of $61.14, suggesting a potential downside of 6.14%. AgroFresh Solutions has a consensus target price of $8.00, suggesting a potential upside of Infinity. Given AgroFresh Solutions’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe AgroFresh Solutions is more favorable than Aspen Technology.

Profitability

This table compares Aspen Technology and AgroFresh Solutions’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Aspen Technology 33.35% -66.74% 67.34%
AgroFresh Solutions -43.81% -0.22% -0.08%

Risk & Volatility

Aspen Technology has a beta of 1.23, suggesting that its share price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, AgroFresh Solutions has a beta of 0.88, suggesting that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

72.1% of AgroFresh Solutions shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of Aspen Technology shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 15.2% of AgroFresh Solutions shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Aspen Technology and AgroFresh Solutions’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Aspen Technology $482.94 9.78 $162.19 $2.15 30.30
AgroFresh Solutions $159.67 0.00 -$111.56 ($1.44) N/A

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

Summary

Aspen Technology beats AgroFresh Solutions on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Aspen Technology

Aspen Technology, Inc. is a global provider of process optimization software solutions designed to manage and optimize plant and process design, operational performance, and supply chain planning. The Company’s aspenONE software and related services have been developed specifically for companies in the process industries, including the energy, chemicals, and engineering and construction industries. It operates through two segments, including subscription and software, which provides licensing of process optimization software solutions and associated support services, and services, which includes professional services and training. It has developed applications to design and optimize processes across the business areas, including engineering, manufacturing and supply chain. Its products include Aspen HYSYS, Aspen Economic Evaluation, Aspen Info Plus.21, Aspen PIMS Advanced Optimization, Aspen Collaborative Demand Manager and Aspen Supply Planner.

About AgroFresh Solutions

AgroFresh Solutions, Inc., formerly Boulevard Acquisition Corp., is a developer of agricultural technologies that preserve the freshness and value of fresh produce, including apples, pears, kiwifruit, avocados and bananas, as well as flowers. The Company’s principal product, The SmartFresh Quality System (SmartFresh), regulates the post-harvest ripening effects of ethylene, the naturally occurring plant hormone that triggers ripening in certain fruits and vegetables, through technology. SmartFresh is naturally biodegradable and leaves no detectable residue, which has significant consumer appeal. SmartFresh allows growers and packers to deliver just harvested freshness on a year-round basis. An integral part of the SmartFresh sales process is the AgroFresh Whole Product offering, which is a direct service model that provides customers with on-site applications of SmartFresh at their storage facilities combined with advisory services. The Company operates in approximately 40 countries.

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