Mettler-Toledo International (NYSE: MTD) and Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and valuation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

95.2% of Mettler-Toledo International shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.5% of Cognex Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.2% of Mettler-Toledo International shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.6% of Cognex Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Mettler-Toledo International and Cognex Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mettler-Toledo International 16.60% 95.28% 19.80%
Cognex Corporation 33.10% 19.51% 17.95%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Mettler-Toledo International and Cognex Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mettler-Toledo International $2.61 billion 5.65 $631.03 million $16.26 35.34
Cognex Corporation $585.12 million 15.02 $207.39 million $2.18 46.57

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Mettler-Toledo International and Cognex Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mettler-Toledo International 0 3 3 0 2.50
Cognex Corporation 0 5 5 0 2.50

Mettler-Toledo International currently has a consensus price target of $541.25, indicating a potential downside of 5.81%. Cognex Corporation has a consensus price target of $77.71, indicating a potential downside of 23.46%. Given Mettler-Toledo International’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Mettler-Toledo International is more favorable than Cognex Corporation.

Risk and Volatility

Mettler-Toledo International has a beta of 1.13, suggesting that its share price is 13% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cognex Corporation has a beta of 1.43, suggesting that its share price is 43% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Cognex Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.34 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Mettler-Toledo International does not pay a dividend. Cognex Corporation pays out 15.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

Mettler-Toledo International beats Cognex Corporation on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Mettler-Toledo International Company Profile

Mettler-Toledo International Inc. is a supplier of precision instruments and services. The Company operates through five segments: U.S. Operations, Swiss Operations, Western European Operations, Chinese Operations and Other. The Company manufactures weighing instruments for use in laboratory, industrial, packaging, logistics and food retailing applications. The Company is also a provider of analytical instruments for use in life science, reaction engineering and real-time analytic systems used in drug and chemical compound development, and process analytics instruments used for in-line measurement in production processes. In addition, the Company is also a supplier of end-of-line inspection systems used in production and packaging for food, pharmaceutical and other industries. The Company serves food and beverage producers; food retailers; chemical, specialty chemicals and cosmetics companies, and the transportation and logistics industry, among others.

Cognex Corporation Company Profile

Cognex Corporation (Cognex) is a provider of machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information in order to automate tasks, primarily in manufacturing processes, where vision is required. The Company operates through the machine vision technology segment. The Company’s machine vision products are used to automate the manufacture and tracking of discrete items, such as mobile phones, aspirin bottles and automobile tires, by locating, identifying, inspecting and measuring them during the manufacturing or distribution process. The Company’s products include vision software, vision systems, vision sensors and identification (ID) products. Its products range from vision sensors that are integrated, to personal computer (PC)-based systems for users. Its products also have a range of physical forms, depending upon the user’s need. Cognex sells its products through a direct sales force, as well as through a global network of integration and distribution partners.

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