Iteris (NASDAQ: ITI) and MRV Communications (NASDAQ:MRVC) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, risk and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

25.8% of Iteris shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 42.1% of MRV Communications shares are held by institutional investors. 14.9% of Iteris shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.5% of MRV Communications shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Iteris has a beta of -0.44, indicating that its stock price is 144% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MRV Communications has a beta of -1.89, indicating that its stock price is 289% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Iteris and MRV Communications, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Iteris 0 0 4 0 3.00
MRV Communications 0 0 1 0 3.00

Iteris currently has a consensus price target of $8.00, suggesting a potential upside of 23.08%. MRV Communications has a consensus price target of $14.00, suggesting a potential upside of 42.13%. Given MRV Communications’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe MRV Communications is more favorable than Iteris.

Profitability

This table compares Iteris and MRV Communications’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Iteris -5.03% -6.80% -4.75%
MRV Communications -10.63% -20.68% -10.70%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Iteris and MRV Communications’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Iteris $95.98 million 2.20 -$1.72 million ($0.14) -46.43
MRV Communications $82.61 million 0.81 -$5.04 million ($1.27) -7.76

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

Summary

Iteris beats MRV Communications on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Iteris

Iteris, Inc. is a provider of information solutions for both the traffic management and global agribusiness markets. The Company operates through three segments: Roadway Sensors, Transportation Systems and Performance Analytics. The Roadway Sensors segment provides various vehicle detection and information systems and products for traffic intersection control, incident detection and roadway traffic data collection applications. The Transportation Systems segment includes transportation engineering and consulting services, and the development of transportation management and traveler information systems for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) industry. The Performance Analytics segment includes iPeMS, its specialized transportation performance measurement and traffic analytics solutions, as well as ClearPath Weather, its road-maintenance applications, and ClearAg, its precision agriculture solutions.

About MRV Communications

MRV Communications, Inc. (MRV) is a supplier of communications solutions to telecommunications service providers, enterprises and governments throughout the world. The Company’s products enable customers to provide high-bandwidth data, and video services and mobile communications services. The Company operates through Network Equipment segment. Its Network Equipment segment designs, manufactures, sells and services equipment used by commercial customers, governments and telecommunications service providers. Its products include switches, optical transport platforms, physical layer products and out-of-band management products, and specialized networking products. MRV markets and sells its products, through a range of channels, which include a direct sales force, manufacturers’ representatives, value-added-resellers, distributors and systems integrators. The Network Equipment business includes two business units: Optical Communications Systems division and Appointech, Inc.

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