Intevac (NASDAQ: IVAC) and Energy Recovery (NASDAQ:ERII) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy and risk.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

66.1% of Intevac shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 31.8% of Energy Recovery shares are held by institutional investors. 13.9% of Intevac shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 23.6% of Energy Recovery shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Intevac and Energy Recovery’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Intevac 0.72% 0.91% 0.62%
Energy Recovery 4.94% 4.10% 1.77%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Intevac and Energy Recovery, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Intevac 0 2 2 0 2.50
Energy Recovery 0 0 5 0 3.00

Intevac presently has a consensus target price of $14.33, suggesting a potential upside of 26.28%. Energy Recovery has a consensus target price of $19.00, suggesting a potential upside of 151.32%. Given Energy Recovery’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Energy Recovery is more favorable than Intevac.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Intevac and Energy Recovery’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Intevac $96.85 million 2.51 $5.42 million $0.02 567.78
Energy Recovery $56.93 million 7.17 $5.11 million $0.05 151.23

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

Volatility & Risk

Intevac has a beta of 1.01, suggesting that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Energy Recovery has a beta of 5.54, suggesting that its share price is 454% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Energy Recovery beats Intevac on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Intevac

Intevac, Inc. (Intevac) is a provider of vacuum deposition equipment for a range of thin-film applications, and digital night-vision technologies and products to the defense industry. The Company’s segments include Thin-film Equipment and Photonics. The Company designs, manufactures, markets and services capital equipment used to deposit thin films and lubricants onto substrates to produce magnetic disks that are used in hard disk drives. Its thin film equipment products include 200 Lean Disk Sputtering System, 200 Lean Etch and Deposition System, AccuLuber Disk Lubrication System, INTEVAC VERTEX System, INTEVAC MATRIX Implant System, ENERGi Implant System and INTEVAC MATRIX System. The Company’s photonic segment develops, manufactures and sells compact digital-optical products for the capture and display of low-light images.

About Energy Recovery

Energy Recovery, Inc. is an energy solutions provider to industrial fluid flow markets. The Company’s solutions convert wasted pressure energy into a reusable asset and preserve or eliminate pumping technology in hostile processing environments. Its segments include Water, Oil & Gas, and Corporate. The Water Segment focuses on products sold for use in reverse osmosis water desalination. The Oil & Gas Segment consists of products sold for use in hydraulic fracturing, gas processing, and chemical processing. The Company offers energy recovery devices (ERDs) in the water desalination market with its pressure exchanger (PX) and turbocharger technologies. The Company offers VorTeq hydraulic fracturing system, IsoBoost, and IsoGen product lines to the oil and gas market. The Company’s customers include engineering, procurement and construction companies, original equipment manufacturers, international oil companies, national oil companies, and exploration and production companies.

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