C.R. Bard (NYSE: BCR) and Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) are both large-cap medical companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares C.R. Bard and Baxter International’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
C.R. Bard $3.71 billion 6.53 $531.40 million $7.59 43.81
Baxter International $10.16 billion 3.43 $4.97 billion $1.86 34.42

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

Dividends

C.R. Bard pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Baxter International pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. C.R. Bard pays out 13.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Baxter International pays out 34.4% 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. Baxter International has raised its dividend for 45 consecutive years. Baxter International is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Volatility & Risk

C.R. Bard has a beta of 0.52, indicating that its share price is 48% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Baxter International has a beta of 0.69, indicating that its share price is 31% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

79.2% of C.R. Bard shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 83.6% of Baxter International shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.8% of C.R. Bard shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.1% of Baxter International shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares C.R. Bard and Baxter International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
C.R. Bard 14.75% 48.28% 16.23%
Baxter International 9.88% 15.00% 8.12%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for C.R. Bard and Baxter International, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
C.R. Bard 0 7 0 0 2.00
Baxter International 0 6 5 1 2.58

C.R. Bard currently has a consensus price target of $295.43, suggesting a potential downside of 11.15%. Baxter International has a consensus price target of $67.55, suggesting a potential upside of 5.51%. Given Baxter International’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Baxter International is more favorable than C.R. Bard.

Summary

Baxter International beats C.R. Bard on 10 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

About C.R. Bard

C. R. Bard, Inc. (Bard) is engaged in designing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution and sale of medical, surgical, diagnostic and patient care devices. The Company operates through the manufacture and sale of medical devices segment. It sells a range of products to hospitals, individual healthcare professionals, extended care facilities and alternate site facilities on a global basis. Its vascular products cover a range of minimally invasive devices for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease and end-stage renal disease. Its urology products include basic urology drainage products, fecal and urinary continence products, urological specialty products and Targeted Temperature Management products. Its oncology products cover a range of devices used in the treatment and management of various cancers, and other diseases and disorders. Its surgical specialty products include implanted patches and fixation devices for hernia and soft tissue repairs.

About Baxter International

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides renal and hospital products. The Company operates through two segments: Hospital Products and Renal. Its Hospital Products business manufactures sterile intravenous (IV) solutions and administration sets, premixed drugs and drug-reconstitution systems, pre-filled vials and syringes for injectable drugs, IV nutrition products, parenteral nutrition therapies, infusion pumps, inhalation anesthetics and biosurgery products. The Renal business offers a portfolio to meet the needs of patients with end-stage renal disease, or irreversible kidney disease and acute kidney injuries, including technologies and therapies for peritoneal dialysis (PD), hemodialysis (HD), continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and additional dialysis services. Its products are used by hospitals, kidney dialysis centers, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, doctors’ offices and by patients at home under physician supervision.

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