Crane (NYSE: CR) and MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS (NYSE:MWA) are both multi-sector conglomerates companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, profitability and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Crane and MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Crane 0 5 6 0 2.55
MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS 0 0 6 0 3.00

Crane currently has a consensus price target of $74.57, indicating a potential upside of 1.47%. MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS has a consensus price target of $14.20, indicating a potential upside of 20.85%. Given MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS is more favorable than Crane.

Risk & Volatility

Crane has a beta of 1.1, suggesting that its stock price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS has a beta of 1.37, suggesting that its stock price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Crane and MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS’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%
MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS 14.47% 16.85% 5.96%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Crane and MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Crane $2.75 billion 1.59 $482.00 million $2.17 33.87
MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS $1.15 billion 1.62 $184.20 million $0.80 14.69

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

70.6% of Crane shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.1% of MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.1% of Crane shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.3% of MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Crane pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Crane pays out 60.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS pays out 20.0% 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. MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Summary

MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS beats Crane on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Crane

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.

About MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS

Mueller Water Products, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of products and services used in the transmission, distribution and measurement of water in North America. The Company operates through three segments: Mueller Co., Anvil and Mueller Technologies. The Mueller Co. segment manufactures valves for water and gas systems, and dry-barrel and wet-barrel fire hydrants. The Anvil segment manufactures and sources a range of products, including a range of fittings, couplings, hangers and related products. The Mueller Technologies segment offers metering systems, leak detection, pipe condition assessment and other products and services for the water infrastructure industry. The Mueller Technologies segment includes Mueller Systems and Echologics businesses. The Company offers a range of water infrastructure, flow control and piping component system products and services in the United States and Canada.

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