Head-To-Head Review: Ameresco (AMRC) versus Argan (AGX)

Ameresco (NYSE: AMRC) and Argan (NYSE:AGX) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability and earnings.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

24.6% of Ameresco shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.5% of Argan shares are held by institutional investors. 57.9% of Ameresco shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.5% of Argan shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Argan pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Ameresco does not pay a dividend.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Ameresco and Argan’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ameresco $717.15 million 0.76 $37.49 million $0.76 15.00
Argan $892.82 million 0.68 $72.01 million N/A N/A

Argan has higher revenue and earnings than Ameresco.

Risk and Volatility

Ameresco has a beta of 0.77, meaning that its stock price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Argan has a beta of 0.88, meaning that its stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Ameresco and Argan, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ameresco 0 0 3 0 3.00
Argan 0 1 1 0 2.50

Ameresco currently has a consensus target price of $13.17, suggesting a potential upside of 15.50%. Argan has a consensus target price of $56.00, suggesting a potential upside of 43.04%. Given Argan’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Argan is more favorable than Ameresco.

Profitability

This table compares Ameresco and Argan’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ameresco 6.02% 13.66% 4.68%
Argan 8.07% 21.25% 10.93%

Summary

Argan beats Ameresco on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ameresco Company Profile

Ameresco, Inc. provides comprehensive energy services for businesses and organizations in North America and Europe. It offers energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, energy security and resilience, asset sustainability, and renewable energy solutions. The company operates through U.S. Regions, U.S. Federal, Canada, and Non-Solar Distributed Generation segments. It designs, develops, engineers, and installs projects that reduce the energy, as well as operations and maintenance costs of customers' facilities. The company's projects primarily include various measures customized for the facility and designed to enhance the efficiency of building systems, such as heating, ventilation, cooling, and lighting systems. It also offers renewable energy products and services, such as the construction of small-scale plants for customers that produce electricity, gas, heat, or cooling from renewable sources of energy; and sells electricity and processed renewable gas fuel, heat, or cooling. In addition, the company provides enterprise energy management and consulting services; and sells solar photovoltaic (PV) energy products and systems. It serves federal, state, and local governments, as well as healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. As of December 31, 2017, the company owned and operated 73 small-scale renewable energy plants and solar PV installations. Ameresco, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Argan Company Profile

Argan, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations management, maintenance, development, technical, and consulting services to the power generation and renewable energy markets. The company's Power Industry Services segment offers engineering, procurement, and construction contracting services to the owners of alternative energy facilities, such as biomass plants, wind farms, and solar fields; and design, construction, project management, start-up, and operation services for 44 projects with approximately 15,000 megawatts of power-generating capacity. This segment serves independent power project owners, public utilities, power plant equipment suppliers, and global energy plant construction firms. Its Industrial Fabrication and Field Services segment provides industrial steel fabrication and field services to light and heavy industrial organizations that comprise forest products, power, large fertilizer, and mining and petrochemical companies in southern region of the United States. The company's Telecommunications Infrastructure Services segment offers outside plant cabling services, including trench-less directional boring and excavation for underground communication and power networks, as well as aerial cabling services; and installs buried cable, high and low voltage electric lines, and private area outdoor lighting systems. It also offers inside premises wiring services consisting of structuring, cabling, terminations, and connectivity that provide the physical transport for high speed data, voice, video, and security networks. This segment serves state and local government agencies, regional communications service providers, electric utilities, other commercial customers, and federal government facilities, including cleared facilities in the mid-Atlantic region. Argan, Inc. was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.

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