AquaVenture (NYSE: WAAS) and Artesian Resources (NASDAQ:ARTNA) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation and risk.
Earnings and Valuation
This table compares AquaVenture and Artesian Resources’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.
||Earnings Per Share
Artesian Resources has lower revenue, but higher earnings than AquaVenture. AquaVenture is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Artesian Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
Volatility and Risk
AquaVenture has a beta of 1.24, meaning that its share price is 24% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Artesian Resources has a beta of 0.1, meaning that its share price is 90% less volatile than the S&P 500.
This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for AquaVenture and Artesian Resources, as reported by MarketBeat.
||Strong Buy Ratings
AquaVenture currently has a consensus price target of $21.75, suggesting a potential upside of 60.87%. Artesian Resources has a consensus price target of $41.00, suggesting a potential upside of 11.63%. Given AquaVenture’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe AquaVenture is more favorable than Artesian Resources.
Insider and Institutional Ownership
35.8% of AquaVenture shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 38.7% of Artesian Resources shares are held by institutional investors. 55.9% of AquaVenture shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 20.6% of Artesian Resources shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.
This table compares AquaVenture and Artesian Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
||Return on Equity
||Return on Assets
Artesian Resources pays an annual dividend of $0.94 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. AquaVenture does not pay a dividend. Artesian Resources pays out 40.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.
Artesian Resources beats AquaVenture on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.
AquaVenture Holdings Limited provides water-as-a-service solutions in North America, the Caribbean, and South America. The company operates in two segments, Seven Seas Water and Quench. It offers desalination and wastewater treatment solutions for governmental, municipal, industrial, and hospitality customers; and point-of-use filtered water systems and related services to approximately 40,000 institutional and commercial customers. The company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Road Town, British Virgin Islands.
About Artesian Resources
Artesian Resources Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides water, wastewater, and other services on the Delmarva Peninsula. The company distributes and sells water to residential, commercial, industrial, governmental, municipal, and utility customers, as well as for public and private fire protection in the states of Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; and offers wastewater services to customers in Delaware. It also provides contract water and wastewater services; water, sewer, and internal service line protection plans; and wastewater management services, as well as design, construction, and engineering services. In addition, the company offers services to other water utilities, including operations and billing functions; and owns real estate properties, including land for office buildings, a water treatment plant, and wastewater facility. As of December 31, 2017, it served approximately 84,200 metered water customers in Delaware, 2,300 metered water customers in Maryland, and 40 customers in Pennsylvania through 1,293 miles of transmission and distribution mains. Artesian Resources Corporation was founded in 1905 and is headquartered in Newark, Delaware.
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