Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) and West (NASDAQ:WSTC) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, earnings, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Motorola Solutions and West’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Motorola Solutions 10.51% -92.09% 10.40%
West 7.79% N/A 5.18%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.9% of Motorola Solutions shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 67.4% of West shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.5% of Motorola Solutions shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.6% of West shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Motorola Solutions pays an annual dividend of $1.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. West pays an annual dividend of $0.45 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Motorola Solutions pays out 48.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. West pays out 17.9% 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. Motorola Solutions has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Motorola Solutions is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Motorola Solutions and West’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Motorola Solutions $6.04 billion 2.51 $560.00 million $3.91 23.95
West N/A N/A N/A $2.52 9.33

Motorola Solutions has higher revenue and earnings than West. West is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Motorola Solutions, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Motorola Solutions and West, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Motorola Solutions 0 3 9 0 2.75
West 0 5 0 0 2.00

Motorola Solutions currently has a consensus price target of $94.36, suggesting a potential upside of 0.78%. West has a consensus price target of $24.50, suggesting a potential upside of 4.26%. Given West’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe West is more favorable than Motorola Solutions.

Summary

Motorola Solutions beats West on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Motorola Solutions Company Profile

Motorola Solutions, Inc. is a provider of communication infrastructure, devices, accessories, software and services. The Company operates through two segments: Products and Services. The Company’s Products segment offers a portfolio of infrastructure, devices, accessories and software. The Products segment has two product lines: Devices and Systems. The primary customers of the Products segment are government, public safety and first-responder agencies, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers operating private communications networks and manage a mobile workforce. The Company’s Services segment provides a range of service offerings for government, public safety and commercial communication networks. The Services segment product lines include Integration services, Managed & Support services, and Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) services.

West Company Profile

West Corporation is a provider of communication and network infrastructure services. The Company helps its clients communicate, collaborate and connect with their audiences through a portfolio of solutions that include unified communications services, safety services, and interactive services, such as automated notifications, specialized agent services and telecom services. The Company’s segments include Unified Communications Services, which includes collaboration services, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and telecom services; Safety Services, which includes carrier services, government solutions and advanced services; Interactive Services, including outbound (proactive notifications-voice, text/short messaging service (SMS) and chat), inbound speech solutions (interactive voice response or IVR), Web, mobile and professional services, and Specialized Agent Services, which includes healthcare advocacy services, cost management services and revenue generation.

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