Mesa Laboratories (NASDAQ: MLAB) and Vishay Precision Group (NYSE:VPG) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Vishay Precision Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mesa Laboratories 11.31% 16.58% 9.37%
Vishay Precision Group 4.16% 7.25% 4.63%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Vishay Precision Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mesa Laboratories $95.22 million 5.96 $25.86 million $2.79 54.04
Vishay Precision Group $232.41 million 1.40 $31.01 million $0.72 33.89

Vishay Precision Group has higher revenue and earnings than Mesa Laboratories. Vishay Precision Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Mesa Laboratories, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Mesa Laboratories has a beta of 0.49, indicating that its stock price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vishay Precision Group has a beta of 0.93, indicating that its stock price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

67.0% of Mesa Laboratories shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.5% of Vishay Precision Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 15.7% of Mesa Laboratories shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.4% of Vishay Precision Group shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Mesa Laboratories pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Vishay Precision Group does not pay a dividend. Mesa Laboratories pays out 22.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Mesa Laboratories and Vishay Precision Group, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mesa Laboratories 0 0 1 0 3.00
Vishay Precision Group 0 0 1 0 3.00

Vishay Precision Group has a consensus price target of $23.00, suggesting a potential downside of 5.74%. Given Vishay Precision Group’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Vishay Precision Group is more favorable than Mesa Laboratories.

Summary

Mesa Laboratories beats Vishay Precision Group on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Mesa Laboratories

Mesa Laboratories, Inc. is focused primarily on quality control products and services. The Company operates through four segments: Instruments, Continuous Monitoring, Biological Indicators and Cold Chain. The Instruments Division designs, manufactures and markets quality control instruments and disposable products. Its Biological Indicators Division provides testing services, along with the manufacturing and marketing of biological indicators and distribution of chemical indicators used to assess the effectiveness of sterilization processes. Its Continuous Monitoring Division designs, develops and markets systems, which are used to monitor various environmental parameters. Its Cold Chain Division provides parameter (primarily temperature) monitoring of products in a cold chain. The Company’s brands include DataTrace, DialyGuard, DryCal, Torqo, SureTorque, BGI, Mesa, PCD, Apex, CheckPoint, Mesa and TempTrust.

About Vishay Precision Group

Vishay Precision Group, Inc. (VPG) is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of sensors and sensor-based measurement systems, as well as specialty resistors and strain gages. The Company operates through three business segments: Foil Technology Products, Force Sensors, and Weighing and Control Systems. Its Foil Technology Products segment includes foil resistor and strain gage operating segments. The Foil Technology Products segment’s brands include Alpha Electronics, Micro-Measurements, Powertron and Vishay Foil Resistors. The Force Sensors segment includes load cells and force measurement transducers that are offered as precision sensors for industrial and commercial use. The Weighing and Control Systems segment designs and manufactures systems that consists of load cells and instrumentation for weighing and force control/measurement for a range of uses, including on-board weighing and overload monitor systems. The segment’s brands include BLH Nobel, KELK and VPG Onboard Weighing.

Receive News & Ratings for Mesa Laboratories Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Mesa Laboratories Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.