Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI) and Spectrum Brands Holdings (NYSE:SPB) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, earnings and risk.

Risk & Volatility

Itron has a beta of 1.1, indicating that its share price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Spectrum Brands Holdings has a beta of 0.66, indicating that its share price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Spectrum Brands Holdings pays an annual dividend of $1.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Itron does not pay a dividend. Spectrum Brands Holdings pays out 34.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Spectrum Brands Holdings has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Itron and Spectrum Brands Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Itron $1.98 billion 1.42 $221.70 million $0.80 90.63
Spectrum Brands Holdings $4.94 billion 1.26 $865.80 million $4.90 21.94

Spectrum Brands Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than Itron. Spectrum Brands Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Itron, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Itron and Spectrum Brands Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Itron 0 2 5 0 2.71
Spectrum Brands Holdings 0 1 7 0 2.88

Itron currently has a consensus target price of $80.00, suggesting a potential upside of 10.34%. Spectrum Brands Holdings has a consensus target price of $142.43, suggesting a potential upside of 32.47%. Given Spectrum Brands Holdings’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Spectrum Brands Holdings is more favorable than Itron.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.8% of Itron shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 47.0% of Spectrum Brands Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Itron shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Spectrum Brands Holdings shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Itron and Spectrum Brands Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Itron 1.60% 15.43% 6.32%
Spectrum Brands Holdings 5.87% 17.46% 4.45%

Summary

Spectrum Brands Holdings beats Itron on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Itron Company Profile

Itron, Inc. (Itron) is a technology and service company. The Company provides solutions that measure, manage and analyze energy and water use. The Company operates through three segments: Electricity, Gas and Water. It provides a portfolio of products, solutions, software and services to electric, gas and water utility customers across the globe. It offers solutions that enable electric and natural gas utilities to build smart grids to manage assets. It offers a product portfolio, including standard meters and smart metering products, systems and services, for applications in the residential and commercial industrial markets for water and heat. The Company operates under the Itron brand across the world. Its Gas and Water manufacturing facilities are located throughout the world, while its Electricity manufacturing facilities are located in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and North America.

Spectrum Brands Holdings Company Profile

Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (SB Holdings) is a diversified global consumer products company. The Company manufactures, markets and/or distributes its products in approximately 160 countries in the North America (NA); Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); Latin America (LATAM), and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions. It has five segments: Global Batteries & Appliances (GBA), Global Pet Supplies (PET), Home and Garden (H&G), Hardware & Home Improvement (HHI) and Global Auto Care (GAC). The Company’s GBA segment includes product categories, such as consumer batteries, small appliances and personal care. The Company’s HHI segment includes product categories, such as lockset, plumbing and hardware. The Company’s PET segment’s product categories include aquatics, companion animal and pet food. The Company’s H&G segment’s product categories include controls, household and repellents. The Company’s GAC segment’s product categories include appearance, performance and A/C recharge.

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