Contrasting Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE:WLKP) & Codexis (CDXS)

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Westlake Chemical Partners (NYSE: WLKP) and Codexis (NASDAQ:CDXS) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Westlake Chemical Partners and Codexis’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Westlake Chemical Partners 4.34% 5.30% 3.39%
Codexis -36.06% -87.65% -42.15%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

46.1% of Westlake Chemical Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.9% of Codexis shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.4% of Codexis shares are owned 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.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Westlake Chemical Partners and Codexis’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Westlake Chemical Partners $1.17 billion 0.68 $48.67 million $1.72 14.36
Codexis $50.02 million 16.87 -$22.99 million ($0.50) -31.70

Westlake Chemical Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Codexis. Codexis is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Westlake Chemical Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Westlake Chemical Partners has a beta of 1.05, indicating that its share price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Codexis has a beta of -1.63, indicating that its share price is 263% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Westlake Chemical Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.59 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.4%. Codexis does not pay a dividend. Westlake Chemical Partners pays out 92.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Westlake Chemical Partners has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Westlake Chemical Partners and Codexis, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Westlake Chemical Partners 0 4 3 0 2.43
Codexis 0 0 4 0 3.00

Westlake Chemical Partners currently has a consensus price target of $26.30, indicating a potential upside of 6.48%. Codexis has a consensus price target of $14.25, indicating a potential downside of 10.09%. Given Westlake Chemical Partners’ higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Westlake Chemical Partners is more favorable than Codexis.

Summary

Westlake Chemical Partners beats Codexis on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Westlake Chemical Partners

Westlake Chemical Partners LP engages in the operation, acquisition and development of ethylene production facilities and related assets. It is a vertically-integrated, international manufacturer and marketer of basic chemicals, polymers, and fabricated building products. The company was founded on March 14, 2014 and is headquartered in Houston, TX.

About Codexis

Codexis, Inc. discovers, develops, and sells protein catalysts. It also offers intermediate chemicals products that are used for further chemical processing; and Codex biocatalyst panels and kits that enable customers to perform chemistry screening. The company also provides protein catalyst screening and protein engineering services. In addition, it offers CodeEvolver protein engineering technology platform, which helps in developing and delivering protein catalysts that perform chemical transformations. The company's platform is used to discover novel biotherapeutic drug candidates for targeted human diseases, as well as for molecular biology and in vitro diagnostic enzymes. Its platform also enhances the pharmaceuticals companies manufacturing productivity and efficiency or outsourcing the manufacture of the intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company sells its products to pharmaceutical manufacturers through its direct sales and business development force in the United States and Europe. Codexis, Inc. was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California.

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