MKS Instruments (NASDAQ: MKSI) and Cascade Microtech (NASDAQ:CSCD) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

95.4% of MKS Instruments shares are held by institutional investors. 1.7% of MKS Instruments shares are held 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 Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for MKS Instruments and Cascade Microtech, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MKS Instruments 0 0 5 0 3.00
Cascade Microtech 0 0 2 0 3.00

MKS Instruments presently has a consensus price target of $88.20, indicating a potential downside of 7.01%. Cascade Microtech has a consensus price target of $15.50, indicating a potential downside of 29.22%. Given MKS Instruments’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe MKS Instruments is more favorable than Cascade Microtech.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares MKS Instruments and Cascade Microtech’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MKS Instruments $1.70 billion 3.03 $405.48 million $4.80 19.76
Cascade Microtech N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

MKS Instruments has higher revenue and earnings than Cascade Microtech.


MKS Instruments pays an annual dividend of $0.70 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Cascade Microtech does not pay a dividend. MKS Instruments pays out 14.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.


This table compares MKS Instruments and Cascade Microtech’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MKS Instruments 15.47% 19.47% 11.16%
Cascade Microtech 5.72% 7.19% 5.97%


MKS Instruments beats Cascade Microtech on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About MKS Instruments

MKS Instruments, Inc. is a global provider of instruments, subsystems and process control solutions that measures, controls, powers, delivers, monitors and analyzes critical parameters of advanced manufacturing processes. The Company operates through two segments, including the Vacuum & Analysis segment and the Light & Motion segment. The Vacuum & Analysis segment provides a range of instruments, components, subsystems and software, which are derived from its core competencies in pressure measurement and control, flow measurement and control, gas and vapor delivery, gas composition analysis, residual gas analysis, leak detection, control and information technology, ozone generation and delivery, radio frequency (RF) and direct current (DC) power, reactive gas generation and vacuum technology. The Light & Motion segment provides a range of instruments, components and subsystems, which are derived from its core competencies in lasers, photonics and optics.

About Cascade Microtech

Cascade Microtech, Inc. is a designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of wafer probing, thermal and reliability solutions for the electrical measurement and testing of semiconductor devices. The Company operates in two business segments: Systems and Probes. The Systems business segment is engaged in the sale of probe stations, thermal subsystems and reliability test systems. The Probes segment is engaged in the sale of analytical probes and production probe cards. The Company designs, manufactures and sells multiple product lines, including probe stations, thermal subsystems, reliability test systems, analytical probes, production probe cards, and various services and accessories. Probing systems are used in the development of semiconductor processes and designs. The 1164 Reliability Test System is a modular and scalable test platform that can be used in a range of reliability test applications.

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