Littelfuse (NASDAQ: LFUS) and Powell Industries (NASDAQ:POWL) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, profitabiliy, valuation, risk and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Littelfuse and Powell Industries’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Littelfuse 11.06% 18.47% 10.28%
Powell Industries 1.94% 3.31% 2.47%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Littelfuse and Powell Industries’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Littelfuse $1.12 billion 3.42 $243.46 million $5.43 31.11
Powell Industries $478.02 million 0.77 $22.18 million $0.81 39.81

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

Dividends

Littelfuse pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Powell Industries pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. Littelfuse pays out 24.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Powell Industries pays out 128.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

95.2% of Littelfuse shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 64.1% of Powell Industries shares are held by institutional investors. 1.8% of Littelfuse shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 24.0% of Powell Industries shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Littelfuse has a beta of 0.94, suggesting that its stock price is 6% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Powell Industries has a beta of 0.83, suggesting that its stock price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Littelfuse and Powell Industries, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Littelfuse 0 2 3 0 2.60
Powell Industries 0 0 0 0 N/A

Littelfuse presently has a consensus price target of $153.67, indicating a potential downside of 9.04%. Given Littelfuse’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Littelfuse is more favorable than Powell Industries.

Summary

Littelfuse beats Powell Industries on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Littelfuse

Littelfuse, Inc. is a supplier of circuit protection products for the electronics, automotive and industrial markets. The Company operates through three segments. The Electronics segment provides circuit protection components for overcurrent and overvoltage protection, as well as sensor components and modules to manufacturers of a range of electronic products. The Automotive segment provides circuit protection and sensor products to the worldwide automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and parts distributors of passenger automobiles, trucks, buses, and off-road equipment. The Industrial Segment provides circuit protection products for industrial and commercial customers. The Company also offers electronic reed switches and sensors, automotive sensors for comfort and safety systems and a range of electromechanical and electronic switch and control devices for commercial and specialty vehicles.

About Powell Industries

Powell Industries, Inc. develops design, manufactures and services custom-engineered equipment and systems for the distribution, control and monitoring of electrical energy designed to distribute, control and monitor the flow of electrical energy, and provide protection to motors, transformers and other electrically powered equipment. The Company’s principal products include integrated power control room substations (PCRs), custom-engineered modules, electrical houses (E-Houses), traditional and arc-resistant distribution switchgear and control gear, medium-voltage circuit breakers, monitoring and control communications systems, motor control centers and bus duct systems. These products are designed for application voltages ranging from 480 volts to 38,000 volts, and are used in oil and gas refining, offshore oil and gas production, petrochemical, pipeline, terminal, mining and metals, light rail traction power, electric utility, pulp and paper, and other heavy industrial markets.

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