American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC) and FARO Technologies (NASDAQ:FARO) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation and dividends.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

35.2% of American Superconductor Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.6% of FARO Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.6% of American Superconductor Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of FARO Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares American Superconductor Corporation and FARO Technologies’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Superconductor Corporation $70.77 million 1.04 -$21.56 million ($2.14) -1.80
FARO Technologies $335.54 million 1.68 $13.50 million ($0.03) -1,124.63

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for American Superconductor Corporation and FARO Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Superconductor Corporation 0 1 5 0 2.83
FARO Technologies 0 1 4 0 2.80

American Superconductor Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $7.33, indicating a potential upside of 90.48%. FARO Technologies has a consensus target price of $41.00, indicating a potential upside of 21.48%. Given American Superconductor Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe American Superconductor Corporation is more favorable than FARO Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares American Superconductor Corporation and FARO Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Superconductor Corporation -45.60% -54.39% -32.07%
FARO Technologies -0.13% -0.13% -0.10%

Risk and Volatility

American Superconductor Corporation has a beta of 1.09, indicating that its stock price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, FARO Technologies has a beta of 1.36, indicating that its stock price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

FARO Technologies beats American Superconductor Corporation on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About American Superconductor Corporation

American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) is a provider of megawatt-scale solutions. The Company operates through two segments: Wind and Grid. Through the Company’s Windtec Solutions brand, the Wind business segment enables manufacturers to field wind turbines. Through the Company’s Gridtec Solutions, the Grid business segment enables electric utilities and renewable energy project developers to connect, transmit and distribute power. AMSC supplies power electronics and control systems, licenses its engineered wind turbine designs and provides customer support services to wind turbine manufacturers. The Company provides a range of power electronics and software-based control systems. AMSC provides transmission planning services that enable it to identify power grid congestion and other risks. The Company also sells grid interconnection solutions for wind farms and solar power plants, power quality systems, and transmission and distribution cable systems.

About FARO Technologies

FARO Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, markets and supports software driven, three-dimensional (3D) measurement, imaging and realization systems. The Company operates in three segments: Factory Metrology, Construction BIM-CIM and Other. It sells its products through a direct sales force across customers in a range of manufacturing, industrial, architecture, surveying, building construction and law enforcement applications. Its FaroArm, FARO Laser ScanArm, FARO Gage, FARO Laser Tracker, FARO Cobalt Array 3D Imager AMP, and their companion CAM2 software provide for Computer-Aided Design-based inspection and/or factory-level statistical process control and surveying. It operates in international markets throughout the world and maintain sales offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

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