Microvision (NASDAQ: MVIS) and AU Optronics Corp (NYSE:AUO) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, earnings, dividends and valuation.

Volatility and Risk

Microvision has a beta of -0.06, indicating that its stock price is 106% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, AU Optronics Corp has a beta of 0.53, indicating that its stock price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Microvision and AU Optronics Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Microvision -156.62% -880.81% -122.93%
AU Optronics Corp 6.63% 11.96% 5.50%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Microvision and AU Optronics Corp, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Microvision 0 0 2 0 3.00
AU Optronics Corp 2 3 3 0 2.13

Microvision currently has a consensus target price of $3.70, indicating a potential upside of 87.82%. AU Optronics Corp has a consensus target price of $4.00, indicating a potential downside of 1.23%. Given Microvision’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Microvision is more favorable than AU Optronics Corp.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Microvision and AU Optronics Corp’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Microvision $11.85 million 11.32 -$17.41 million ($0.32) -6.16
AU Optronics Corp $11.50 billion 0.34 $2.30 billion $0.75 5.40

AU Optronics Corp has higher revenue and earnings than Microvision. Microvision is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than AU Optronics Corp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

30.9% of Microvision shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 8.2% of AU Optronics Corp shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.0% of Microvision shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 16.0% of AU Optronics Corp shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

AU Optronics Corp beats Microvision on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Microvision

Microvision, Inc. is a developer of laser beam scanning (LBS) technology. The Company markets its technology under the brand name, PicoP. It has developed PicoP scanning technology that can be adopted by its customers to create high-resolution miniature projection, and three-dimensional sensing and image capture solutions that use laser diodes as the light source. The Company offers key components for inclusion in a scanning engine, including its Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). Its PicoP scanning technology incorporates its expertise in two-dimensional MEMS, lasers, optics and electronics to create a small form factor scanning engine with lower power needs. It licenses PicoP scanning technology to original design manufacturers (ODMs) or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Its technology creates a platform that can support multiple applications and markets, including enterprise, medical, industrial and automotive.

About AU Optronics Corp

AU Optronics Corp. is a thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT-LCD) panel provider. The Company operates in two business segments: display business and solar business. Through Display business segment, the Company designs, develops, manufactures, assembles and markets flat panel displays and most of its products are TFT-LCD panels. Its panels are primarily used in televisions, monitors, mobile personal computers (PCs), mobile devices and commercial and other applications (such as displays for automobiles, industrial PCs, automated teller machines, point of sale terminals and pachinko machines). Through Solar business segment, the Company is capable of manufacturing upstream and midstream products, such as ingots, solar wafers and solar cells. Through the Company’s subsidiaries AUO Crystal Corp. and M.Setek Co., Ltd. (M.Setek), it mainly focuses on research, production and sales of solar materials, such as ingots and solar wafers.

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