Head-To-Head Contrast: Armstrong World Industries (AWI) & Smart Sand (NASDAQ:SND)

Armstrong World Industries (NYSE: AWI) and Smart Sand (NASDAQ:SND) are both basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Armstrong World Industries and Smart Sand, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Armstrong World Industries 1 5 4 0 2.30
Smart Sand 0 4 5 0 2.56

Armstrong World Industries presently has a consensus price target of $57.13, suggesting a potential downside of 2.93%. Smart Sand has a consensus price target of $13.28, suggesting a potential upside of 82.14%. Given Smart Sand’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Smart Sand is more favorable than Armstrong World Industries.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Armstrong World Industries and Smart Sand’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Armstrong World Industries $893.60 million 3.50 $154.80 million $4.08 14.42
Smart Sand $59.23 million 4.97 $10.37 million $0.66 11.05

Armstrong World Industries has higher revenue and earnings than Smart Sand. Smart Sand is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Armstrong World Industries, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

51.7% of Smart Sand shares are held by institutional investors. 1.7% of Armstrong World Industries shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 46.4% of Smart Sand shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Armstrong World Industries and Smart Sand’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Armstrong World Industries 12.77% 41.95% 7.84%
Smart Sand 18.67% 14.41% 11.85%


Smart Sand beats Armstrong World Industries on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Armstrong World Industries Company Profile

Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (AWI) is a global producer of ceiling systems. The Company owns and operates the Building Products (Ceilings) segment. The Company designs, manufactures and sells ceiling systems (primarily mineral fiber, fiberglass wool and metal) around the world. Its products are used in commercial and institutional buildings. Its geographical segments include Americas (including Canada); Europe, Middle East and Africa (including Russia) (EMEA), and Pacific Rim. As of December 31, 2016, it had 15 manufacturing plants in eight countries, including six plants located throughout the United States. Its Americas segment sells products for use in single and multi-family housing. It sells commercial products to building materials distributors re-selling its products to contractors, subcontractors’ alliances, architect and design firms, and facility owners. Residential ceiling products are sold in the Americas primarily to wholesalers and retailers.

Smart Sand Company Profile

Smart Sand, Inc. is a producer of Northern White raw frac sand, which is a proppant used to enhance hydrocarbon recovery rates in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells. The Company sells its products primarily to oil and natural gas exploration and production companies and oilfield service companies under a combination of long-term take-or-pay contracts and spot sales in the open market. It owns and operates a raw frac sand mine and related processing facility near Oakdale, Wisconsin. In addition to the Oakdale facility, it owns a second property in Jackson County, Wisconsin, known as Hixton site. Its sand reserves include a balanced concentration of coarse (20/40, 30/50 and 40/70 gradation) sands and fine (60/140 gradation) sand. Its reserves contain deposits of approximately 20% of 20/40 and coarser substrate, over 40% of 40/70 mesh substrate and approximately 40% of 100-mesh substrate. Its 30/50 gradation is a derivative of the 20/40 and 40/70 blends.

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