Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI) and Kimball Electronics (NASDAQ:KE) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership and profitability.

Risk and Volatility

Itron has a beta of 1.08, suggesting that its stock price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Kimball Electronics has a beta of 0.98, suggesting that its stock price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.8% of Itron shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 56.9% of Kimball Electronics shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Itron shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.2% of Kimball Electronics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Itron and Kimball Electronics’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Itron $1.98 billion 1.41 $221.70 million $0.80 90.31
Kimball Electronics $930.91 million 0.55 $62.96 million $1.24 15.44

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

Profitability

This table compares Itron and Kimball Electronics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Itron 1.60% 15.43% 6.32%
Kimball Electronics 3.67% 9.24% 5.74%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Itron and Kimball Electronics, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Itron 0 2 5 0 2.71
Kimball Electronics 0 0 1 0 3.00

Itron presently has a consensus price target of $80.00, suggesting a potential upside of 10.73%. Kimball Electronics has a consensus price target of $17.00, suggesting a potential downside of 11.23%. Given Itron’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Itron is more favorable than Kimball Electronics.

Summary

Itron beats Kimball Electronics on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Itron

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.

About Kimball Electronics

Kimball Electronics, Inc. (Kimball Electronics) is an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company. The Company is engaged in producing electronics for the automotive, medical, industrial and public safety markets. It provides design, engineering, manufacturing, packaging and distribution of electronic assemblies and circuit boards on a contract basis to a range of industries. The Company offers various engineering, manufacturing and supply chain services, such as design services; production and testing of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAS); industrialization and automation of manufacturing processes; product design and process validation and qualification; reliability testing, which include testing of products under a series of environmental conditions; assembly, production and packaging of other related non-electronic products, and product life cycle management. It is engaged in producing safety critical electronic assemblies for the automotive market.

Receive News & Ratings for Itron Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Itron Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.