Esterline Technologies Corporation (NYSE: ESL) and DigitalGlobe (NYSE:DGI) are both mid-cap aerospace companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, risk and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Esterline Technologies Corporation and DigitalGlobe’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Esterline Technologies Corporation $2.01 billion 1.28 $312.43 million $4.48 19.10
DigitalGlobe $809.90 million 2.66 $402.60 million $0.02 1,728.36

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

Profitability

This table compares Esterline Technologies Corporation and DigitalGlobe’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Esterline Technologies Corporation 6.65% 9.18% 5.06%
DigitalGlobe 0.64% 2.40% 0.97%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.7% of Esterline Technologies Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.3% of DigitalGlobe shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.4% of Esterline Technologies Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.9% of DigitalGlobe shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Esterline Technologies Corporation and DigitalGlobe, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Esterline Technologies Corporation 1 4 1 0 2.00
DigitalGlobe 0 4 1 0 2.20

Esterline Technologies Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $92.67, suggesting a potential upside of 8.32%. DigitalGlobe has a consensus target price of $33.90, suggesting a potential downside of 1.88%. Given Esterline Technologies Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Esterline Technologies Corporation is more favorable than DigitalGlobe.

Volatility and Risk

Esterline Technologies Corporation has a beta of 1.45, suggesting that its share price is 45% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, DigitalGlobe has a beta of 1.01, suggesting that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Esterline Technologies Corporation beats DigitalGlobe on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Esterline Technologies Corporation

Esterline Technologies Corporation is a specialized manufacturing company. The Company designs, manufactures and markets engineered products and systems for application within the industries it serves. The Company operates through three segments: Avionics & Controls, Sensors & Systems, and Advanced Materials. The Company serves aerospace and defense customers. The Company’s Avionics & Controls business segment includes avionics systems, control and communication systems, and interface technologies capabilities. The Company’s Sensors & Systems business segment includes power systems, connection technologies and advanced sensors capabilities. The Company’s Advanced Materials business segment includes engineered materials and defense technologies capabilities. The Company designs and manufactures ruggedized military personal communication equipment, primarily headsets, handsets and field communications.

About DigitalGlobe

DigitalGlobe, Inc. is a provider of Earth imagery, data and analysis. The Company’s imagery solutions and other services support a range of uses, including mission-planning, mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration and infrastructure management. The Company’s imagery solutions and other services are sourced from its own satellite constellation and third-party providers. The Company sells its products and services through a combination of direct and indirect channels, consisting of a global network of resellers, strategic partners and direct enterprise sales to its United States Government and Diversified Commercial customer groups. The Company offers products consisting of imagery from its constellation of satellites, and provides geospatial products and services. The Company processes its imagery to varying levels according to its customers’ specifications and delivers its products using the distribution method.

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