Luna Innovations (NASDAQ: LUNA) and Luminex (NASDAQ:LMNX) are both small-cap business services companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, valuation and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Luna Innovations and Luminex’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Luna Innovations 26.68% -1.99% -1.35%
Luminex 9.52% 6.01% 5.47%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Luna Innovations and Luminex, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Luna Innovations 0 0 1 0 3.00
Luminex 1 3 0 0 1.75

Luna Innovations presently has a consensus price target of $3.00, indicating a potential upside of 42.86%. Luminex has a consensus price target of $19.33, indicating a potential downside of 4.62%. Given Luna Innovations’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Luna Innovations is more favorable than Luminex.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Luna Innovations and Luminex’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Luna Innovations $59.21 million 1.01 -$2.36 million $0.43 4.88
Luminex $270.64 million 3.30 $13.81 million $0.66 30.71

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

Risk and Volatility

Luna Innovations has a beta of 1.51, indicating that its stock price is 51% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Luminex has a beta of 0.19, indicating that its stock price is 81% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Luminex pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Luna Innovations does not pay a dividend. Luminex pays out 36.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

12.1% of Luna Innovations shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.2% of Luminex shares are held by institutional investors. 13.0% of Luna Innovations shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.9% of Luminex shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Luminex beats Luna Innovations on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Luna Innovations Company Profile

Luna Innovations Incorporated develops, manufactures and markets fiber optic sensing and test, and measurement products. The Company is focused on bringing technology solutions to measure and monitor processes in the aerospace, automotive, energy, composite, telecommunications and defense industries. The Company operates in two business segments: Products and Licensing, and Technology Development. The Products and Licensing segment develops, manufactures and markets its suite of products, including high-speed optical receiver (HSOR), custom optoelectronic subsystems (Optoelectronics), and Terahertz (THz) products, and fiber optic sensing, as well as test and measurement products. The Technology Development segment performs applied research principally in the areas of sensing and instrumentation, advanced materials and health sciences. The Company’s HSOR transmission products are deployed in the Internet communications equipment infrastructure for high-speed bandwidth.

Luminex Company Profile

Luminex Corporation develops, manufactures and sells biological testing technologies with applications throughout the diagnostics, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. The Company’s products are focused on the molecular diagnostic testing market, which includes human genetics, personalized medicine and infectious disease segments. The Company has a range of instruments using its xMAP technology, which includes its LUMINEX 100/200 systems offer 100-plex testing; the Company’s FLEXMAP 3D system is its high-throughput, 500-plex testing system, and its MAGPIX system provides 50-plex testing using imaging rather than flow cytometry. By using its xMAP technology, the end users are able to generate multiple simultaneous results per sample. The Company primarily serves the diagnostics, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries by marketing products, including its testing equipment and assays, to a range of testing laboratories.

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