Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) and Astronics (NASDAQ:ATRO) are both aerospace companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Dividends

Rockwell Collins pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Astronics does not pay a dividend. Rockwell Collins pays out 27.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Rockwell Collins has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Rockwell Collins and Astronics, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Rockwell Collins 1 15 3 0 2.11
Astronics 0 1 2 0 2.67

Rockwell Collins currently has a consensus target price of $125.35, suggesting a potential downside of 6.88%. Astronics has a consensus target price of $40.00, suggesting a potential downside of 7.51%. Given Rockwell Collins’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Rockwell Collins is more favorable than Astronics.

Profitability

This table compares Rockwell Collins and Astronics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Rockwell Collins 10.33% 22.00% 6.90%
Astronics 5.80% 10.29% 5.69%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Rockwell Collins and Astronics’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Rockwell Collins $6.82 billion 3.21 $705.00 million $4.78 28.16
Astronics $633.12 million 1.91 $48.42 million $1.18 36.65

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

72.8% of Rockwell Collins shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.7% of Astronics shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of Rockwell Collins shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 16.5% of Astronics shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Rockwell Collins has a beta of 0.72, indicating that its stock price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Astronics has a beta of 1.09, indicating that its stock price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Rockwell Collins beats Astronics on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins, Inc. designs, produces and supports communications and aviation systems for commercial and military customers. The Company provides information management services through voice and data communication networks and solutions across the world. The Company operates through three segments: Commercial Systems, Government Systems and Information Management Services. The Commercial Systems segment supplies aviation electronics systems, products and services to customers located throughout the world. The Government Systems segment provides a range of electronic products, systems and services to customers including the United States Department of Defense, various ministries of defense, other government agencies and defense contractors around the world. The Information Management Services segment provides communications services, systems integration and security solutions across the aviation, airport, rail and nuclear security markets.

About Astronics

Astronics Corporation is a supplier of products to the aerospace, defense, electronics and semiconductor industries. The Company’s products and services include electrical power generation, distribution and motion systems, lighting and safety systems, avionics products, aircraft structures, systems certification and automated test systems. The Company operates through two segments: Aerospace and Test Systems. The Aerospace segment designs and manufactures products for the global aerospace industry. Its product lines include lighting and safety systems, electrical power generation, distribution and motions systems, aircraft structures, avionics products, systems certification and other products. The Test Systems segment designs, develops, manufactures and maintains automated test systems that support the semiconductor, aerospace, communications and weapons test systems, as well as training and simulation devices for both commercial and military applications.

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