Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) and Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Waters Corporation and Quidel Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Waters Corporation $2.21 billion 6.60 $766.04 million $6.62 27.62
Quidel Corporation $214.11 million 6.81 $39.38 million ($0.01) -4,358.64

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

Volatility & Risk

Waters Corporation has a beta of 0.82, indicating that its share price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Quidel Corporation has a beta of 1.26, indicating that its share price is 26% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Waters Corporation and Quidel Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Waters Corporation 2 6 5 0 2.23
Quidel Corporation 0 1 5 0 2.83

Waters Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $184.73, suggesting a potential upside of 1.04%. Quidel Corporation has a consensus price target of $47.50, suggesting a potential upside of 8.87%. Given Quidel Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Quidel Corporation is more favorable than Waters Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Waters Corporation and Quidel Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Waters Corporation 24.26% 23.91% 11.89%
Quidel Corporation -0.03% -0.03% -0.02%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

91.0% of Waters Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.2% of Quidel Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 5.1% of Waters Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 22.0% of Quidel Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Waters Corporation beats Quidel Corporation on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Waters Corporation Company Profile

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans. It also designs, manufactures, sells and services thermal analysis, rheometry and calorimetry instruments through its TA product line. It is also a developer and supplier of software-based products that interface with the Company’s instruments, as well as other suppliers’ instruments. Its LC and LC-MS instruments are utilized in a range of industries to detect, identify, monitor and measure the chemical, physical and biological composition of materials, and to purify a range of compounds.

Quidel Corporation Company Profile

Quidel Corporation is engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of diagnostic testing solutions. These diagnostic testing solutions are separated into four product categories: immunoassays, molecular assays, virology and specialty products. The Company sells its products directly to end users and distributors, in each case, for professional use in physician offices, hospitals, clinical laboratories, reference laboratories, universities, retail clinics, pharmacies and wellness screening centers. Its diagnostic solutions aid in the detection and diagnosis of critical diseases and other medical conditions, including infectious diseases, women’s health, gastrointestinal diseases, autoimmune diseases, bone health and thyroid diseases. The Company provides diagnostic testing solutions under various brand names, including Quidel, QuickVue, QuickVue+, MicroVue, FreshCells, D3 FastPoint, Super E-Mix, ELVIS, Sofia, Quidel Molecular, Amplivue, Lyra and Thyretain.

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