Critical Review: Abtech (ABHD) versus Vertex Energy (VTNR)

Vertex Energy (NASDAQ: VTNR) and Abtech (OTCMKTS:ABHD) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, profitability, valuation and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

Vertex Energy has a beta of 0.89, suggesting that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Abtech has a beta of -2.69, suggesting that its stock price is 369% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

18.0% of Vertex Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.2% of Abtech shares are owned by institutional investors. 31.0% of Vertex Energy shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Abtech shares are owned 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.

Profitability

This table compares Vertex Energy and Abtech’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net MarginsReturn on EquityReturn on Assets
Vertex Energy-5.80%-26.89%-10.23%
Abtech-650.43%N/A-617.42%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Vertex Energy and Abtech’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross RevenuePrice/Sales RatioNet IncomeEarnings Per SharePrice/Earnings Ratio
Vertex Energy$145.50 million0.26-$8.43 million($0.36)-3.17
Abtech$57....
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