Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP) and Ideal Power (NASDAQ:IPWR) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, risk, profitabiliy, institutional ownership, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Ballard Power Systems and Ideal Power, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ballard Power Systems 0 1 1 0 2.50
Ideal Power 0 1 3 0 2.75

Ballard Power Systems presently has a consensus target price of $3.25, suggesting a potential upside of 13.64%. Ideal Power has a consensus target price of $5.33, suggesting a potential upside of 131.88%. Given Ideal Power’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Ideal Power is more favorable than Ballard Power Systems.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

3.7% of Ballard Power Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 26.8% of Ideal Power shares are owned by institutional investors. 10.4% of Ideal Power shares are owned 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.

Risk & Volatility

Ballard Power Systems has a beta of 2.29, indicating that its share price is 129% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ideal Power has a beta of 1.38, indicating that its share price is 38% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Ballard Power Systems and Ideal Power’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ballard Power Systems -15.26% -11.55% -7.56%
Ideal Power -798.79% -95.13% -81.98%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ballard Power Systems and Ideal Power’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ballard Power Systems $91.62 million 5.50 -$5.96 million ($0.10) -28.60
Ideal Power $1.41 million 22.83 -$10.85 million ($1.14) -2.02

Ballard Power Systems has higher revenue and earnings than Ideal Power. Ballard Power Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ideal Power, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Ballard Power Systems beats Ideal Power on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ballard Power Systems

Ballard Power Systems Inc. is engaged in the design, development, manufacture, sale and service of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell products for a range of applications, focusing on the power product markets of heavy-duty motive (consisting of bus and tram applications), portable power, material handling and backup power, as well as the delivery of technology solutions, including engineering services, technology transfer and the license and sale of its intellectual property portfolio and fundamental knowledge for a range of fuel cell applications. As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided products in four product classes, such as Fuel cell stacks, Fuel cell modules, Fuel cell systems and Power management systems. The Company provides FCgen and FCveloCity fuel cell stacks to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers and system integrators that use the stacks to produce fuel cell systems for power solutions.

About Ideal Power

Ideal Power Inc. (Ideal Power) designs, markets and sells electrical power conversion products using its Power Packet Switching Architecture (PPSA) technology. The Company’s PPSA is a power conversion technology that utilizes standardized hardware with application specific embedded software. It sells products to systems integrators for integration into their system, which enable end users to manage their electricity consumption by reducing demand charges or fossil fuel consumption, integrating renewable energy sources and form their own microgrid. It focuses on licensing PPSA-based product designs to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) within its target markets. Its products use multiple insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), which switch power in a direction, including direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), or AC to DC. The PPSA uses indirect power flow in which power flows through input switches, and is temporarily stored in its AC link inductor.

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