Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI) and FEI (NASDAQ:FEIC) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, profitabiliy, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

78.0% of Pitney Bowes shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.7% of FEI shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of Pitney Bowes shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of FEI shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Pitney Bowes has a beta of 1.16, suggesting that its share price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, FEI has a beta of 1.41, suggesting that its share price is 41% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Pitney Bowes and FEI’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Pitney Bowes $3.40 billion 0.85 $747.15 million $0.54 28.76
FEI N/A N/A N/A $2.58 41.43

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Pitney Bowes and FEI, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pitney Bowes 0 1 1 0 2.50
FEI 0 0 0 0 N/A

Pitney Bowes presently has a consensus target price of $20.00, suggesting a potential upside of 28.78%. Given Pitney Bowes’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Pitney Bowes is more favorable than FEI.

Dividends

Pitney Bowes pays an annual dividend of $0.75 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.8%. FEI pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Pitney Bowes pays out 138.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. FEI pays out 46.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Pitney Bowes and FEI’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pitney Bowes 3.28% 2,282.68% 5.50%
FEI 9.62% 9.62% 6.97%

About Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes Inc. is a global technology company. The Company offers customer information management, location intelligence and customer engagement products and solutions to help its clients market to their customers, and shipping, mailing, and cross border e-commerce products and solutions that enable the sending of parcels and packages across the globe. The Company’s segments include Small & Medium Business Solutions (SMB), Enterprise Business Solutions and Digital Commerce Solutions. The SMB segment includes North America Mailing and International Mailing business. The Company is engaged in providing a range of equipment, software, supplies and services that enable its clients to create physical and digital mail and evidence. The Enterprise Business Solutions segment includes production mail and presort services business. The Digital Commerce Solutions segment includes software solutions and global e-commerce business.

About FEI

FEI Company is a supplier of scientific instruments and related services for nanoscale applications and solutions for industry and science. The Company operates through two segments: Industry Group, which consists of customers in semiconductor integrated circuit manufacturing and related industries, such as manufacturers of data storage equipment and other technologies, as well as customers in the oil and gas industry, and Science Group, which includes universities, research laboratories and customers in a range of industries, including metals, automobiles, aerospace, geosciences and forensics. It designs, manufactures and supports the range of microscopy workflows. Its products include transmission electron microscopes (TEMs), which offer an integrated and automated operation; scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), which are used for inspecting topographies of materials; DualBeam systems, which provide solution for three-dimensional microscopy and analysis, and focused ion beam (FIB).

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