Contrasting Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) & The Competition

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ: PEIX) is one of 25 publicly-traded companies in the “Industrial organic chemicals” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Pacific Ethanol to related businesses based on the strength of its risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability and dividends.

Profitability

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This table compares Pacific Ethanol and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pacific Ethanol -2.14% -8.84% -4.96%
Pacific Ethanol Competitors -11.48% -11.21% -5.31%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

78.4% of Pacific Ethanol shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 53.2% of shares of all “Industrial organic chemicals” companies are held by institutional investors. 3.9% of Pacific Ethanol shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 14.2% of shares of all “Industrial organic chemicals” companies are held 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.

Volatility and Risk

Pacific Ethanol has a beta of 2.05, suggesting that its stock price is 105% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pacific Ethanol’s peers have a beta of 0.49, suggesting that their average stock price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Pacific Ethanol and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pacific Ethanol 0 0 3 0 3.00
Pacific Ethanol Competitors 120 473 736 25 2.49

Pacific Ethanol currently has a consensus price target of $11.33, indicating a potential upside of 284.18%. As a group, “Industrial organic chemicals” companies have a potential upside of 13.83%. Given Pacific Ethanol’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Pacific Ethanol is more favorable than its peers.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Pacific Ethanol and its peers revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
Pacific Ethanol $1.63 billion -$34.96 million -3.47
Pacific Ethanol Competitors $3.36 billion $346.77 million 4.18

Pacific Ethanol’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than Pacific Ethanol. Pacific Ethanol is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Summary

Pacific Ethanol beats its peers on 8 of the 13 factors compared.

Pacific Ethanol Company Profile

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (Pacific Ethanol) is a marketer and producer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western United States. Pacific Ethanol markets all the ethanol produced by four ethanol production facilities located in California, Idaho and Oregon, or the Pacific Ethanol Plants, all the ethanol produced by three other ethanol producers in the Western United States and ethanol purchased from other third-party suppliers throughout the United States. It also markets ethanol co-products, including wet distiller’s grains and syrup (WDG), for the Pacific Ethanol Plants. Its 83% ownership interest in New PE Holdco LLC, the owner of each of the plant holding companies, that collectively own the Pacific Ethanol Plants. Its ethanol customers are integrated oil companies and gasoline marketers who blend ethanol into gasoline. Effective September 02, 2014, Pacific Ethanol Inc raised its interest to 96% from 91%, by acquiring a 5% interest, in PE Op Co.

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