Crane (NYSE: CR) and Barnes Group (NYSE:B) are both mid-cap multi-sector conglomerates companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability and earnings.

Dividends

Crane pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Barnes Group pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Crane pays out 60.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Barnes Group pays out 19.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Barnes Group has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Crane and Barnes Group’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Crane $2.75 billion 1.64 $482.00 million $2.17 34.80
Barnes Group $1.34 billion 2.40 $305.46 million $2.86 20.88

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

70.6% of Crane shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 83.5% of Barnes Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.1% of Crane shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 8.5% of Barnes Group shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Crane has a beta of 1.1, meaning that its share price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Barnes Group has a beta of 1.43, meaning that its share price is 43% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Crane and Barnes Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Crane 4.79% 20.57% 7.49%
Barnes Group 11.69% 13.02% 7.20%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Crane and Barnes Group, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Crane 0 5 6 0 2.55
Barnes Group 0 2 3 0 2.60

Crane currently has a consensus price target of $74.57, indicating a potential downside of 1.24%. Barnes Group has a consensus price target of $57.50, indicating a potential downside of 3.72%. Given Crane’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Crane is more favorable than Barnes Group.

Summary

Barnes Group beats Crane on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Crane Company Profile

Crane Co. (Crane) is a manufacturer of engineered industrial products. The Company operates through four segments, including Fluid Handling, Payment & Merchandising Technologies, Aerospace & Electronics, and Engineered Materials. The Fluid Handling segment is a provider of engineered fluid handling equipment, including Process Valves and Related Products, Commercial Valves and Other Products. The Payment & Merchandising Technologies segment includes Crane Payment Innovations (CPI) and Merchandising Systems. The Aerospace & Electronics segment supplies various components and systems, including original equipment and aftermarket parts, primarily for the commercial aerospace and military aerospace, and defense markets. The Engineered Materials segment manufactures fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) panels and coils, primarily for use in the manufacturing of recreational vehicles (RVs), truck bodies, truck trailers, with additional applications in commercial and industrial buildings.

Barnes Group Company Profile

Barnes Group Inc. is an industrial and aerospace manufacturer and service provider, serving a range of end markets and customers. The Company’s engineered products, industrial technologies, and solutions are used in applications that provide transportation, manufacturing, healthcare products and technology to the world. Its segments include Industrial and Aerospace. The Industrial segment is engaged in the manufacturing of precision parts, products and systems for applications serving a customer base in end-markets, such as transportation, industrial equipment, consumer products, packaging, electronics, medical devices and energy. The Industrial segment includes the Molding Solutions, Nitrogen Gas Products and Engineered Components business units. The Aerospace segment includes the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) business and the aftermarket business, which includes maintenance repair and overhaul services and the manufacture and delivery of aerospace aftermarket spare parts.

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