Nordson Corporation (NASDAQ: NDSN) and Key Technology (NASDAQ:KTEC) are both industrial products companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Nordson Corporation and Key Technology, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nordson Corporation 0 3 5 0 2.63
Key Technology 0 0 0 0 N/A

Nordson Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $138.00, indicating a potential upside of 22.53%. Given Nordson Corporation’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Nordson Corporation is more favorable than Key Technology.

Profitability

This table compares Nordson Corporation and Key Technology’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nordson Corporation 14.57% 32.99% 10.73%
Key Technology 2.58% 5.27% 3.31%

Dividends

Nordson Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Key Technology does not pay a dividend. Nordson Corporation pays out 23.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Nordson Corporation has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

Nordson Corporation has a beta of 1.35, suggesting that its share price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Key Technology has a beta of 1.04, suggesting that its share price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Nordson Corporation and Key Technology’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nordson Corporation $2.00 billion 3.25 $534.78 million $5.02 22.44
Key Technology $129.89 million 0.77 $10.16 million $0.52 29.81

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

66.0% of Nordson Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 44.6% of Key Technology shares are held by institutional investors. 2.2% of Nordson Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 29.4% of Key Technology shares are held 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.

Summary

Nordson Corporation beats Key Technology on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Nordson Corporation Company Profile

Nordson Corporation engineers, manufactures and markets differentiated products and systems used to dispense, apply and control adhesives, coatings, polymers, sealants, biomaterials, and other fluids, to test and inspect for quality, and to treat and cure surfaces. The Company’s segments include Adhesive Dispensing Systems, Advanced Technology Systems and Industrial Coating Systems. The Adhesive Dispensing Systems segment delivers its precision dispensing and processing technology to various markets. The Advanced Technology Systems segment integrates its product technologies found in progressive stages of a customer’s production process, such as surface treatment, precisely controlled automated, and post-dispense bond testing, optical inspection and X-ray inspection. The Industrial Coating Systems segment provides equipment used primarily for applying coatings, paint, finishes, sealants and other materials, and for curing and drying of dispensed material.

Key Technology Company Profile

Key Technology, Inc. is a supplier of process automation solutions to the food processing industry and other industries, such as tobacco and pharmaceuticals. The Company designs, manufactures, sells and services automation equipment that processes product streams of discrete pieces. These systems integrate electro-optical automated inspection and digital sorting systems with other processing systems that include specialized conveying and preparation equipment. The Company provides parts and service for each of its product lines to customers around the world. Its automated inspection systems are used in various applications to detect and remove defects and foreign material from the product stream. It offers conveying and processing equipment, which are utilized throughout various industries to move and process product within a production plant. Its Integrated Solutions Group (ISG) provides integrated whole-line solutions. It has an installed base of inspection and processing systems.

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