Elbit Systems (NASDAQ: ESLT) and BWX Technologies (NYSE:BWXT) are both large-cap aerospace companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, profitability, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Elbit Systems and BWX Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Elbit Systems 7.23% 16.38% 5.88%
BWX Technologies 11.81% 107.13% 12.81%

Risk and Volatility

Elbit Systems has a beta of 0.62, indicating that its stock price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BWX Technologies has a beta of 0.47, indicating that its stock price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Elbit Systems and BWX Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Elbit Systems 0 2 0 0 2.00
BWX Technologies 0 1 5 0 2.83

Elbit Systems currently has a consensus price target of $110.00, suggesting a potential downside of 26.69%. Given BWX Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe BWX Technologies is more favorable than Elbit Systems.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

11.2% of Elbit Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.6% of BWX Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.8% of Elbit Systems shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.8% of BWX Technologies 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

Elbit Systems pays an annual dividend of $1.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. BWX Technologies pays an annual dividend of $0.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Elbit Systems pays out 22.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. BWX Technologies pays out 23.3% 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. Elbit Systems is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Elbit Systems and BWX Technologies’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Elbit Systems $3.26 billion 1.97 $236.90 million $5.58 26.89
BWX Technologies $1.55 billion 3.91 $183.05 million $1.89 32.27

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

Summary

BWX Technologies beats Elbit Systems on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Elbit Systems Company Profile

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international technology company engaged in a range of programs across the world. The Company develops and supplies a portfolio of airborne, land and naval systems and products for defense, homeland security and commercial aviation applications. Its systems and products are installed on new platforms, and it also performs platform modernization programs. In addition, it provides a range of support services. The Company’s activities include military aircraft and helicopter systems; helmet mounted systems; commercial aviation systems and aerostructures; unmanned aircraft and unmanned surface vessels; land vehicle systems; command, control, communications, computer and intelligence (C4I) systems; intelligence and cyber systems; electro-optic and countermeasures systems; electronic warfare and signal intelligence systems, and various commercial activities. It operates primarily in the defense and homeland security arenas.

BWX Technologies Company Profile

BWX Technologies, Inc. is a manufacturer of nuclear components and a service provider. The Company’s businesses focus on the design, engineering and manufacture of precision naval nuclear components, reactors and nuclear fuel for the United States Government. Its segments include Nuclear Operations, Technical Services, Nuclear Energy and Other. It provides uranium processing and environmental site restoration services, as well as a range of products and services to customers in the nuclear power industry. Nuclear Operations engineers, designs and manufactures precision naval nuclear components and reactors for the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration’s Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Technical Services provides various services to the United States Government. Nuclear Energy designs, licenses, manufactures and delivers commercial nuclear steam generators, pressure vessels, reactor components, heat exchangers and other auxiliary equipment.

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