Kadant (NYSE: KAI) and John Bean Technologies Corp (NYSE:JBT) are both industrial products companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation, dividends and institutional ownership.

Dividends

Kadant pays an annual dividend of $0.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. John Bean Technologies Corp pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Kadant pays out 27.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. John Bean Technologies Corp pays out 15.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Kadant has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years and John Bean Technologies Corp has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Kadant is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Kadant and John Bean Technologies Corp’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Kadant $418.86 million 2.51 $67.05 million $3.03 31.52
John Bean Technologies Corp $1.49 billion 2.03 $166.80 million $2.59 36.87

John Bean Technologies Corp has higher revenue and earnings than Kadant. Kadant is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than John Bean Technologies Corp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

90.7% of Kadant shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.3% of John Bean Technologies Corp shares are held by institutional investors. 5.6% of Kadant shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.8% of John Bean Technologies Corp shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Kadant has a beta of 1.33, suggesting that its share price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, John Bean Technologies Corp has a beta of 1.32, suggesting that its share price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Kadant and John Bean Technologies Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Kadant 8.10% 12.68% 7.64%
John Bean Technologies Corp 4.74% 18.84% 5.66%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Kadant and John Bean Technologies Corp, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Kadant 0 0 3 0 3.00
John Bean Technologies Corp 0 2 5 0 2.71

Kadant currently has a consensus target price of $90.50, indicating a potential downside of 5.24%. John Bean Technologies Corp has a consensus target price of $99.33, indicating a potential upside of 4.01%. Given John Bean Technologies Corp’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe John Bean Technologies Corp is more favorable than Kadant.

Summary

Kadant beats John Bean Technologies Corp on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Kadant

Kadant Inc. is a supplier of equipment and components used in process industries. In addition, the Company manufactures granules made from papermaking by-products. Its segments include Papermaking Systems and Wood Processing Systems. The Company has a customer base, which includes paper and oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturers. Papermaking Systems segment is engaged in developing, manufacturing, and marketing equipment for the global papermaking and paper recycling industries. Its Papermaking Systems segment consists of product lines, including Stock-Preparation; Doctoring, Cleaning, & Filtration, and Fluid-Handling. The Company develops, manufactures and markets stranders and related equipment used in the production of OSB.

About John Bean Technologies Corp

John Bean Technologies Corporation (JBT) is a technology solutions provider to the segments of the food and beverage industry with focus on proteins, liquid foods and automated system solutions. It operates through two segments: JBT FoodTech and JBT AeroTech. The JBT FoodTech segment designs, manufactures and services technologically food processing systems used for fruit juice production, frozen food production, in-container food production, automated systems and convenience food preparation by the food industry. The product offerings of its FoodTech businesses include Protein, Liquid Foods and Automated Systems. The JBT AeroTech segment designs, manufactures and services technologically airport ground support and gate equipment and provides services for airport authorities; airlines, airfreight, and ground handling companies; the defense contractors, and other industries. The product offerings of its AeroTech businesses include Mobile Equipment, Fixed Equipment and Airport Services.

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