Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ: AAOI) and Clearfield (NASDAQ:CLFD) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, risk, profitability, institutional ownership and earnings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

76.7% of Applied Optoelectronics shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 29.1% of Clearfield shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.2% of Applied Optoelectronics shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 18.3% of Clearfield shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Applied Optoelectronics and Clearfield’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Applied Optoelectronics 21.29% 32.35% 23.92%
Clearfield 5.20% 5.95% 5.50%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Applied Optoelectronics and Clearfield’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Applied Optoelectronics $260.71 million 2.98 $31.23 million $4.15 9.67
Clearfield $73.95 million 2.46 $3.84 million $0.28 46.96

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

Risk and Volatility

Applied Optoelectronics has a beta of 2.88, suggesting that its stock price is 188% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Clearfield has a beta of 1.26, suggesting that its stock price is 26% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Applied Optoelectronics and Clearfield, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Applied Optoelectronics 3 1 4 2 2.50
Clearfield 0 0 2 0 3.00

Applied Optoelectronics currently has a consensus price target of $58.13, suggesting a potential upside of 44.77%. Clearfield has a consensus price target of $15.50, suggesting a potential upside of 17.87%. Given Applied Optoelectronics’ higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Applied Optoelectronics is more favorable than Clearfield.

Summary

Applied Optoelectronics beats Clearfield on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Applied Optoelectronics Company Profile

Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. is a vertically integrated provider of fiber-optic networking products, primarily for networking end markets, such as Internet data center, cable television (CATV), fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and telecommunications (telecom). The Company designs and manufactures a range of optical communications products at varying levels of integration, from components, subassemblies and modules to turnkey equipment. To Internet-based data center operators, it supplies optical transceivers that plug into switches and servers within the data center and allow these network devices to send and receive data over fiber optic cables. The Company supplies a range of products, including lasers, transmitters and transceivers, and turnkey equipment, to the CATV market. The Company designs, manufactures and integrates its own analog and digital lasers using a combination of Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) and its Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) fabrication process.

Clearfield Company Profile

Clearfield, Inc. manufactures, markets and sells fiber management and enclosure platform that consolidates, distributes and protects fiber as it moves from the inside plant to the outside plant and all the way to the home, business and cell site. The Company’s products include Clearview Cassette, which is the building block of its product platform; Connectivity and Optical Components; FieldSmart, which is a series of panels, cabinets, wall boxes and other enclosures that house the Clearview components; FieldShield, which is a fiber delivery method for broadband deployment; CraftSmart, which is a line of optical protection field enclosures, and Cable Assemblies. Its products are sold across broadband service providers, including traditional telephone companies, competitive local exchange carriers, multiple service operators (cable television), wireless service providers, and municipal-owned utilities that utilize fiber in their service offerings to businesses and consumers.

Receive News & Ratings for Applied Optoelectronics Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Applied Optoelectronics and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.