FARO Technologies (NASDAQ: FARO) and Smith (A.O.) Corporation (NYSE:AOS) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, risk and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

94.6% of FARO Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.1% of Smith (A.O.) Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.4% of FARO Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of Smith (A.O.) Corporation shares are owned by company 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.

Dividends

Smith (A.O.) Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. FARO Technologies does not pay a dividend. Smith (A.O.) Corporation pays out 28.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Smith (A.O.) Corporation has raised its dividend for 11 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares FARO Technologies and Smith (A.O.) Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
FARO Technologies -0.13% -0.13% -0.10%
Smith (A.O.) Corporation 12.10% 22.25% 11.89%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares FARO Technologies and Smith (A.O.) Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
FARO Technologies $335.54 million 1.81 $13.50 million ($0.03) -1,211.26
Smith (A.O.) Corporation $2.86 billion 3.51 $549.50 million $1.97 29.55

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

Volatility and Risk

FARO Technologies has a beta of 1.36, meaning that its share price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Smith (A.O.) Corporation has a beta of 1.49, meaning that its share price is 49% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for FARO Technologies and Smith (A.O.) Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
FARO Technologies 0 1 4 0 2.80
Smith (A.O.) Corporation 0 2 4 0 2.67

FARO Technologies presently has a consensus target price of $41.00, suggesting a potential upside of 12.79%. Smith (A.O.) Corporation has a consensus target price of $68.80, suggesting a potential upside of 18.17%. Given Smith (A.O.) Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Smith (A.O.) Corporation is more favorable than FARO Technologies.

Summary

Smith (A.O.) Corporation beats FARO Technologies on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

About Smith (A.O.) Corporation

A. O. Smith Corporation operates through two segments: North America and Rest of World. The Company’s Rest of World segment primarily consists of China, Europe and India. Both segments manufacture and market comprehensive lines of residential and commercial gas, gas tankless and electric water heaters, as well as water treatment products. Both segments primarily manufacture and market in their respective regions of the world. Its North America segment manufactures and globally markets specialty commercial water heating equipment, condensing and non-condensing boilers and water systems tanks. It also manufactures and markets in-home air purification products in China. It serves residential and commercial end markets in North America with a range of products, which include water heaters, boilers and other. It supplies water heaters to the residential market in China with a broad product offering, including electric, gas, gas tankless, heat pump and solar units, as well as combi boilers.

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