Reviewing Argan (NYSE:AGX) and Matrix Service (MTRX)

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Argan and Matrix Service, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Argan 0 1 1 0 2.50
Matrix Service 0 1 0 0 2.00

Argan presently has a consensus target price of $56.00, indicating a potential upside of 56.64%. Given Argan’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Argan is more favorable than Matrix Service.

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Argan $892.82 million 0.62 $72.01 million N/A N/A
Matrix Service $1.20 billion 0.42 -$180,000.00 ($0.01) -1,890.00

Argan has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Matrix Service.

Risk and Volatility

Argan has a beta of 0.9, suggesting that its stock price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Matrix Service has a beta of 0.9, suggesting that its stock price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

78.0% of Argan shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.5% of Matrix Service shares are held by institutional investors. 7.5% of Argan shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.5% of Matrix Service shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Argan pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Matrix Service does not pay a dividend.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Argan 7.00% 16.11% 9.19%
Matrix Service 0.21% 1.02% 0.59%

Summary

Argan beats Matrix Service on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

Matrix Service Company Profile

Matrix Service Company provides engineering, fabrication, infrastructure, construction, and maintenance services primarily to the oil, gas, power, petrochemical, industrial, agricultural, and mining and minerals markets in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The company's Electrical Infrastructure segment offers construction and maintenance services to various power generation facilities, such as combined cycle plants, natural gas fired power stations, and renewable energy installations; and high voltage services comprising the construction of new substations, upgrading existing substations, short-run transmission line installations, distribution upgrades and maintenance, and storm restoration services to investor owned utilities. Its Oil Gas & Chemical segment provides turnaround, plant maintenance, engineering, and construction services for the downstream and midstream petroleum industries; and hydro blasting, hydro excavating, chemical cleaning, and vacuum services, as well as performs work in the petrochemical, natural gas, gas processing and compression, and upstream petroleum markets. The company's Storage Solutions segment constructs crude and refined products aboveground storage tanks; and provides planned and emergency maintenance services. This segment also undertakes work related to liquefied natural gas, liquid nitrogen/liquid oxygen, liquid petroleum tanks, and other specialty vessels, including spheres; and plant work in storage terminals and tank farms, as well as provides geodesic domes, aluminum internal floating roofs, floating suction and skimmer systems, roof drain systems, and floating roof seals. Its Industrial segment constructs and maintains work in the iron and steel, mining and minerals, and agricultural industries, as well as performs work in bulk material handling, fertilizer production facilities, thermal vacuum chambers, and other industrial markets. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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