CTS Corporation (NYSE: CTS) and Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ:MXWL) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitabiliy, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and risk.

Volatility and Risk

CTS Corporation has a beta of 1.23, meaning that its share price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Maxwell Technologies has a beta of 0.39, meaning that its share price is 61% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

CTS Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Maxwell Technologies does not pay a dividend. CTS Corporation pays out 15.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. CTS Corporation has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for CTS Corporation and Maxwell Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CTS Corporation 0 2 1 0 2.33
Maxwell Technologies 0 4 0 0 2.00

CTS Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $24.50, suggesting a potential upside of 9.62%. Maxwell Technologies has a consensus price target of $5.50, suggesting a potential downside of 5.98%. Given CTS Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe CTS Corporation is more favorable than Maxwell Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares CTS Corporation and Maxwell Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CTS Corporation 8.75% 11.60% 6.99%
Maxwell Technologies -24.18% -27.94% -20.24%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares CTS Corporation and Maxwell Technologies’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CTS Corporation $400.13 million 1.83 $75.79 million $1.05 21.29
Maxwell Technologies $112.73 million 1.67 -$16.75 million ($0.84) -6.96

CTS Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Maxwell Technologies. Maxwell Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than CTS Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

92.2% of CTS Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 46.3% of Maxwell Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.7% of CTS Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of Maxwell Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

CTS Corporation beats Maxwell Technologies on 14 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About CTS Corporation

CTS Corporation is a manufacturer of sensors, electronic components and actuators. The Company designs, manufactures and sells a line of sensors, electronic components and actuators primarily to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the transportation, industrial, medical, information technology, defense and aerospace, and communications markets. It operates manufacturing facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Its products perform specific electronic functions for a given product family and are intended for use in customer assemblies. The Company’s products consist principally of sensors and actuators used in passenger or commercial vehicles; electronic components used in communications infrastructure, information technology and other high-speed applications; switches and potentiometers supplied to multiple markets, and fabricated piezoelectric materials and substrates used primarily in medical, industrial, defense and aerospace, and information technology markets.

About Maxwell Technologies

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets energy storage and power delivery products for transportation, industrial, information technology and other applications and microelectronic products for space and satellite applications. The Company offers three product lines: Ultracapacitors, High-Voltage Capacitors and Radiation-Hardened Microelectronic Products. The Company’s ultracapacitor cells and multi-cell packs, and modules provide energy storage and power delivery solutions for applications in multiple industries. The Company offers ultracapacitor cells with capacitances ranging from 1 to 3,400 farads. It designs and manufactures CONDIS high-voltage capacitors. These products include grading and coupling capacitors and electric voltage transformers. The Company’s radiation-hardened microelectronic products for satellites and spacecraft include single board computers and components, such as high-density memory and data conversion modules.

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