Brooks Automation (NASDAQ: BRKS) and Fortive Corporation (NYSE:FTV) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, earnings and profitability.

Dividends

Brooks Automation pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Fortive Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Brooks Automation pays out 50.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Fortive Corporation pays out 11.0% 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.

Risk and Volatility

Brooks Automation has a beta of 1.1, meaning that its stock price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Fortive Corporation has a beta of 0.37, meaning that its stock price is 63% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Brooks Automation and Fortive Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Brooks Automation $668.56 million 3.04 $95.89 million $0.80 37.73
Fortive Corporation $6.36 billion 3.93 $1.49 billion $2.54 28.32

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

Profitability

This table compares Brooks Automation and Fortive Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Brooks Automation 8.34% 11.25% 8.96%
Fortive Corporation 14.02% 32.88% 11.27%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

90.4% of Brooks Automation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.6% of Fortive Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.2% of Brooks Automation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 12.1% of Fortive Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Brooks Automation and Fortive Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Brooks Automation 0 2 4 0 2.67
Fortive Corporation 0 7 5 0 2.42

Brooks Automation presently has a consensus target price of $30.17, indicating a potential downside of 0.04%. Fortive Corporation has a consensus target price of $64.78, indicating a potential downside of 9.93%. Given Brooks Automation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Brooks Automation is more favorable than Fortive Corporation.

Summary

Fortive Corporation beats Brooks Automation on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Brooks Automation Company Profile

Brooks Automation, Inc. is a provider of automation and cryogenic solutions for various applications and markets. The Company operates through two segments: Brooks Semiconductor Solutions Group and Brooks Life Science Systems. The Brooks Semiconductor Solutions Group segment offers critical automated transport, vacuum and contamination controls solutions and services. Its product offerings include robots and integrated automation systems for handling of substrates. It is also a provider of cryogenic components to create vacuum and thermal stability within critical operating environments in the manufacturing process. It also offers equipment for automated contamination control, conditioning and metrology solutions for wafer and reticle carriers. The Brooks Life Science Systems segment offers sample life cycle management solutions that provide life science and bioscience customers with a range of sample management solutions for scientific research and support drug development.

Fortive Corporation Company Profile

Fortive Corporation is a diversified industrial growth company. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and markets professional and engineered products, software and services for a range of end markets. The Company operates through two segments: Professional Instrumentation and Industrial Technologies. The Company’s brands operate in field instrumentation, transportation, sensing, product realization, automation and specialty, and franchise distribution markets. The Professional Instrumentation segment offers essential products, software and services used to create actionable intelligence by measuring and monitoring a range of physical parameters in industrial applications, including electrical current, radio frequency signals, distance, pressure and temperature. The Industrial Technologies segment offers critical technical equipment, components, software and services for manufacturing, repair and transportation markets around the world.

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