Lydall (NYSE: LDL) and Flow International Corp (NASDAQ:FLOW) are both small-cap multi-sector conglomerates companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Lydall and Flow International Corp, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lydall 0 0 2 0 3.00
Flow International Corp 1 2 5 0 2.50

Lydall presently has a consensus target price of $62.50, indicating a potential upside of 13.02%. Flow International Corp has a consensus target price of $43.00, indicating a potential upside of 964.36%. Given Flow International Corp’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Flow International Corp is more favorable than Lydall.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Lydall and Flow International Corp’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lydall $566.85 million 1.68 $37.18 million $2.32 23.84
Flow International Corp N/A N/A N/A $0.04 101.00

Lydall has higher revenue and earnings than Flow International Corp. Lydall is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Flow International Corp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Lydall and Flow International Corp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lydall 6.00% 15.22% 8.40%
Flow International Corp N/A N/A N/A

Insider & Institutional Ownership

88.6% of Lydall shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.0% of Lydall shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Lydall beats Flow International Corp on 8 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Lydall

Lydall, Inc. designs and manufactures specialty engineered filtration media, industrial thermal insulating solutions, automotive thermal and acoustical barriers for filtration/separation and thermal/acoustical applications. The Company’s segments are Performance Materials, Technical Nonwovens, Thermal/Acoustical Metals and Thermal/Acoustical Fibers. The Performance Materials segment includes filtration, thermal insulation and life sciences filtration businesses. The Technical Nonwovens segment includes its industrial filtration and advanced materials products. The Thermal/Acoustical Metals segment includes its metal parts and related tooling used in automotive applications. The Thermal/Acoustical Fibers segment includes its fiber parts business and related tooling used in automotive applications. Its Filtration products include LydAir MG (Micro-Glass) Air Filtration Media, LydAir MB (Melt Blown) Air Filtration Media and Arioso Membrane Composite Media.

About Flow International Corp

SPX FLOW, Inc. provides various engineered solutions worldwide. The company engineers, designs, manufactures, and markets products and solutions used to process, blend, filter, dry, meter, and transport fluids with a focus on original equipment installation, including turn-key systems, modular systems, and components, as well as aftermarket components and support services. It operates through three segments: Food and Beverage, Power and Energy, and Industrial. The Food and Beverage segment offers mixing, drying, evaporation, and separation systems and components; heat exchangers, and reciprocating and centrifugal pump technologies; and turn-key systems primarily under the Anhydro, APV, Bran+Luebbe, Gerstenberg Schroeder, LIGHTNIN, Seital, and Waukesha Cherry-Burrell brands. The Power and Energy segment provides pumps, valves, and related accessories primarily for customers in oil and gas, and nuclear and other conventional power industries under the APV, Bran+Luebbe, ClydeUnion Pumps, Copes-Vulcan, Dollinger Filtration, LIGHTNIN, M&J Valve, Plenty, and Vokes brands. The Industrial segment offers air dryers, filtration equipment, mixers, pumps, hydraulic technologies, and heat exchangers under the Airpel, APV, Bolting Systems, Delair, Deltech, Hankison, Jemaco, Johnson Pump, LIGHTNIN, Power Team, and Stone brands. It primarily serves customers in chemical, air treatment, mining, pharmaceutical, marine, shipbuilding, infrastructure construction, general industrial, and water treatment industries. SPX FLOW, Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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