Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS) and Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk and valuation.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Keysight Technologies and Cognex Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Keysight Technologies $2.95 billion 2.48 $611.00 million $1.96 20.13
Cognex Corporation $585.12 million 15.66 $207.39 million $2.18 48.56

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

Profitability

This table compares Keysight Technologies and Cognex Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Keysight Technologies 11.61% 22.62% 9.03%
Cognex Corporation 33.10% 19.51% 17.95%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

88.1% of Keysight Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.3% of Cognex Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.2% of Keysight Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.6% of Cognex Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

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

Volatility and Risk

Keysight Technologies has a beta of 1.15, indicating that its stock price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cognex Corporation has a beta of 1.43, indicating that its stock price is 43% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Keysight Technologies and Cognex Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Keysight Technologies 0 2 8 0 2.80
Cognex Corporation 0 5 5 0 2.50

Keysight Technologies presently has a consensus target price of $46.33, suggesting a potential upside of 17.45%. Cognex Corporation has a consensus target price of $77.71, suggesting a potential downside of 26.59%. Given Keysight Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Keysight Technologies is more favorable than Cognex Corporation.

About Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies, Inc. is a measurement company engaged in providing electronic design and test solutions to communications and electronics industries. The Company provides electronic design and test instruments and systems and related software, software design tools and related services that are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronics equipment. The Company operates through three segments: Communications Solutions Group (CSG), Electronic Industrial Solutions Group (EISG) and Services Solutions Group (SSG). The CSG and EISG segments provide electronic design and test software, instruments, and systems used in the simulation, design, validation, manufacturing, installation and optimization of electronic equipment. The SSG segment provides integrated service solutions, including repair and calibration services, professional services and remanufactured equipment.

About Cognex Corporation

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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