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

Dividends

Mesa Laboratories pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Mettler-Toledo International does not pay a dividend. Mesa Laboratories pays out 22.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk and Volatility

Mettler-Toledo International has a beta of 1.11, indicating that its share price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mesa Laboratories has a beta of 0.47, indicating that its share price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Mettler-Toledo International and Mesa Laboratories’ 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 5.93 $631.03 million $16.26 37.10
Mesa Laboratories $95.22 million 5.38 $25.86 million $2.79 48.83

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

93.1% of Mettler-Toledo International shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 67.2% of Mesa Laboratories shares are held by institutional investors. 5.2% of Mettler-Toledo International shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 17.0% of Mesa Laboratories shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Mettler-Toledo International and Mesa Laboratories’ 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%
Mesa Laboratories 11.31% 16.58% 9.37%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Mettler-Toledo International and Mesa Laboratories, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mettler-Toledo International 0 3 3 0 2.50
Mesa Laboratories 0 0 1 0 3.00

Mettler-Toledo International currently has a consensus target price of $541.25, indicating a potential downside of 10.28%. Given Mettler-Toledo International’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Mettler-Toledo International is more favorable than Mesa Laboratories.

Summary

Mettler-Toledo International beats Mesa Laboratories on 13 of the 16 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.

Mesa Laboratories Company Profile

Mesa Laboratories, Inc. is focused primarily on quality control products and services. The Company operates through four segments: Instruments, Continuous Monitoring, Biological Indicators and Cold Chain. The Instruments Division designs, manufactures and markets quality control instruments and disposable products. Its Biological Indicators Division provides testing services, along with the manufacturing and marketing of biological indicators and distribution of chemical indicators used to assess the effectiveness of sterilization processes. Its Continuous Monitoring Division designs, develops and markets systems, which are used to monitor various environmental parameters. Its Cold Chain Division provides parameter (primarily temperature) monitoring of products in a cold chain. The Company’s brands include DataTrace, DialyGuard, DryCal, Torqo, SureTorque, BGI, Mesa, PCD, Apex, CheckPoint, Mesa and TempTrust.

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