ICU Medical (NASDAQ: ICUI) and Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO) are both medical equipment, supplies & distribution – nec companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

77.1% of ICU Medical shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.3% of Meridian Bioscience shares are owned by institutional investors. 13.6% of ICU Medical shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.3% of Meridian Bioscience shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for ICU Medical and Meridian Bioscience, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ICU Medical 0 2 1 0 2.33
Meridian Bioscience 1 3 0 0 1.75

Meridian Bioscience has a consensus price target of $11.50, suggesting a potential downside of 22.82%. Given Meridian Bioscience’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Meridian Bioscience is more favorable than ICU Medical.

Dividends

Meridian Bioscience pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. ICU Medical does not pay a dividend. Meridian Bioscience pays out 98.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Risk & Volatility

ICU Medical has a beta of 0.33, suggesting that its stock price is 67% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Meridian Bioscience has a beta of 0.89, suggesting that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares ICU Medical and Meridian Bioscience’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ICU Medical $379.37 million 11.03 $63.08 million $1.53 135.88
Meridian Bioscience $200.77 million 3.13 $21.55 million $0.51 29.22

ICU Medical has higher revenue and earnings than Meridian Bioscience. Meridian Bioscience is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than ICU Medical, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares ICU Medical and Meridian Bioscience’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ICU Medical 2.79% 4.81% 3.77%
Meridian Bioscience 10.74% 17.07% 11.52%

Summary

ICU Medical beats Meridian Bioscience on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

ICU Medical Company Profile

ICU Medical, Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and sales of medical devices used in infusion therapy, oncology and critical care applications. The Company’s product line includes needlefree connection devices, custom infusion sets, closed system transfer devices (CSTD) for the handling of hazardous drugs, advanced sensor catheters, needlefree closed blood sampling systems, disposable pressure transducer systems and hemodynamic monitoring systems. The primary critical care products it manufactures are Hemodynamic Monitoring Systems, SafeSet Closed Blood Sampling and Conservation System, Transpac Consumable Blood Pressure Transducers and Other Critical Care Products. The primary oncology products it manufactures are ChemoLock Needlefree CSTD, ChemoClave Needlefree CSTD and Diana Hazardous Drug Compounding System. As of December 31, 2016, its products were used in acute care hospitals and ambulatory clinics in more than 65 countries throughout the world.

Meridian Bioscience Company Profile

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. is a life science company engaged in the development, manufacture, sale and distribution of diagnostic test kits for gastrointestinal, viral, respiratory and parasitic infectious diseases, and elevated blood lead levels, and the manufacture and distribution of bulk antigens, antibodies, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/quantitative PCR (qPCR) reagents, nucleotides, competent cells and bioresearch reagents used by researchers and other diagnostic manufacturers. Its segments include Diagnostics and Life Science. The Diagnostics segment includes manufacturing operations in Cincinnati, and the sale and distribution of diagnostic test kits in the countries consisting of North, Central and South America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and other countries outside of the Americas and EMEA. The Life Science segment consists of manufacturing operations in Memphis, Tennessee; Boca Raton, Florida; London, England; Luckenwalde, Germany, and Sydney, Australia.

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