Barnes Group (NYSE: B) and Mueller Water Products (NYSE:MWA) are both industrial products companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, valuation, risk and earnings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

85.7% of Barnes Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.4% of Mueller Water Products shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.5% of Barnes Group shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.3% of Mueller Water Products shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Barnes Group pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Mueller Water Products pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Barnes Group pays out 21.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Mueller Water Products pays out 21.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Barnes Group has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years and Mueller Water Products has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Volatility & Risk

Barnes Group has a beta of 1.42, meaning that its share price is 42% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mueller Water Products has a beta of 1.34, meaning that its share price is 34% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Barnes Group and Mueller Water Products’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Barnes Group $1.28 billion 2.47 $291.33 million $2.65 22.22
Mueller Water Products $1.15 billion 1.59 $181.60 million $0.74 15.50

Barnes Group has higher revenue and earnings than Mueller Water Products. Mueller Water Products is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Barnes Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Barnes Group and Mueller Water Products’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Barnes Group 11.30% 12.49% 6.90%
Mueller Water Products 12.45% 18.45% 6.28%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Barnes Group and Mueller Water Products, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Barnes Group 0 2 2 0 2.50
Mueller Water Products 0 2 6 0 2.75

Barnes Group currently has a consensus target price of $54.33, suggesting a potential downside of 7.72%. Mueller Water Products has a consensus target price of $13.83, suggesting a potential upside of 20.60%. Given Mueller Water Products’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Mueller Water Products is more favorable than Barnes Group.

Summary

Barnes Group beats Mueller Water Products on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Barnes Group Company Profile

Barnes Group Inc. is an industrial and aerospace manufacturer and service provider, serving a range of end markets and customers. The Company’s engineered products, industrial technologies, and solutions are used in applications that provide transportation, manufacturing, healthcare products and technology to the world. Its segments include Industrial and Aerospace. The Industrial segment is engaged in the manufacturing of precision parts, products and systems for applications serving a customer base in end-markets, such as transportation, industrial equipment, consumer products, packaging, electronics, medical devices and energy. The Industrial segment includes the Molding Solutions, Nitrogen Gas Products and Engineered Components business units. The Aerospace segment includes the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) business and the aftermarket business, which includes maintenance repair and overhaul services and the manufacture and delivery of aerospace aftermarket spare parts.

Mueller Water Products Company Profile

Mueller Water Products, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of products and services used in the transmission, distribution and measurement of water in North America. The Company operates through two segments: Mueller Co. and Mueller Technologies. The Mueller Co. segment manufactures valves for water and gas systems, and dry-barrel and wet-barrel fire hydrants. The Mueller Technologies segment offers metering systems, leak detection, pipe condition assessment and other products and services for the water infrastructure industry. The Mueller Technologies segment includes Mueller Systems and Echologics businesses. The Company offers a range of water infrastructure, flow control and piping component system products and services in the United States and Canada.

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