Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) and Coherent (NASDAQ:COHR) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Micron Technology and Coherent, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Micron Technology 1 4 25 0 2.80
Coherent 0 0 7 0 3.00

Micron Technology presently has a consensus target price of $35.74, indicating a potential upside of 17.38%. Coherent has a consensus target price of $266.43, indicating a potential upside of 21.27%. Given Coherent’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Coherent is more favorable than Micron Technology.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

80.4% of Micron Technology shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.4% of Coherent shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Micron Technology shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.4% of Coherent shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Micron Technology has a beta of 1.76, indicating that its stock price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Coherent has a beta of 0.72, indicating that its stock price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Micron Technology and Coherent’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Micron Technology $17.40 billion 1.95 $7.03 billion $2.17 14.03
Coherent $1.48 billion 3.66 $403.41 million $6.63 33.14

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

Profitability

This table compares Micron Technology and Coherent’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Micron Technology 14.66% 19.05% 9.17%
Coherent 11.08% 24.98% 12.59%

Summary

Coherent beats Micron Technology on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Micron Technology Company Profile

Micron Technology, Inc. is engaged in semiconductor systems. The Company’s portfolio of memory technologies, including dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), negative-AND (NAND) Flash and NOR Flash are the basis for solid-state drives, modules, multi-chip packages and other system solutions. Its business segments include Compute and Networking Business Unit (CNBU), which includes memory products sold into compute, networking, graphics and cloud server markets; Mobile Business Unit (MBU), which includes memory products sold into smartphone, tablet and other mobile-device markets; Storage Business Unit (SBU), which includes memory products sold into enterprise, client, cloud and removable storage markets, and SBU also includes products sold to Intel through its Intel/Micron Flash Technology (IMFT) joint venture, and Embedded Business Unit (EBU), which includes memory products sold into automotive, industrial, connected home and consumer electronics markets.

Coherent Company Profile

Coherent, Inc. is a photonics manufacturer. The Company is engaged in designing, manufacturing, servicing and marketing of lasers and related accessories for a range of scientific, commercial and industrial applications. It operates through two segments: Specialty Lasers and Systems (SLS) and Commercial Lasers and Components (CLC). SLS develops and manufactures configurable products serving the microelectronics, scientific research and government programs, and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components and instrumentation markets. The Commercial Lasers and Components segment focuses on higher volume products that are offered in set configurations. The product architectures are designed for exchange at the point of use such that substantially all product service and repairs are based upon advanced replacement and depot (that is factory) repair. CLC’s primary markets include materials processing, OEM components, and instrumentation and microelectronics.

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