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

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ballard Power Systems and Sunrun’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ballard Power Systems $91.62 million 5.76 -$5.96 million ($0.10) -30.00
Sunrun $459.27 million 1.26 -$83.86 million $0.86 6.37

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

Risk & Volatility

Ballard Power Systems has a beta of 2.29, suggesting that its share price is 129% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sunrun has a beta of -0.6, suggesting that its share price is 160% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Ballard Power Systems and Sunrun, 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
Sunrun 0 2 6 0 2.75

Ballard Power Systems presently has a consensus target price of $3.25, indicating a potential upside of 8.33%. Sunrun has a consensus target price of $10.19, indicating a potential upside of 85.90%. Given Sunrun’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Sunrun is more favorable than Ballard Power Systems.

Profitability

This table compares Ballard Power Systems and Sunrun’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%
Sunrun 19.88% 10.42% 2.73%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

3.7% of Ballard Power Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.5% of Sunrun shares are owned by institutional investors. 24.1% of Sunrun shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Sunrun beats Ballard Power Systems on 10 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 Sunrun

Sunrun Inc. is engaged in the design, development, installation, sale, ownership and maintenance of residential solar energy systems (Projects) in the United States. The Company is engaged in providing solar energy services and products to its customers. As of December 31, 2016, it operated a fleet of residential solar energy systems in the United States, with approximately 134,000 customers across 16 states, as well as the District of Columbia. The Company sells to homeowners over the phone, in the field through canvassing and in-home sales and through retail sales channels through its strategic partners. The solar service offerings are provided through its lease and power purchase agreements. It sells solar service offerings and installs solar energy systems for homeowners through its direct-to-consumer channel. It sells solar energy systems to homeowners, as well as related products, such as solar panels, inverters, racking systems and other solar-related equipment to resellers.

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