Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) and ViaSat (NASDAQ:VSAT) are both mid-cap technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends and risk.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

87.8% of Motorola Solutions shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.4% of ViaSat shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.5% of Motorola Solutions shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 7.7% of ViaSat shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Motorola Solutions pays an annual dividend of $2.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. ViaSat does not pay a dividend. Motorola Solutions pays out 53.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. ViaSat has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Motorola Solutions and ViaSat’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Motorola Solutions $6.04 billion 2.43 $560.00 million $3.91 23.19
ViaSat $1.56 billion 2.79 $23.76 million ($0.20) -373.15

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

Volatility & Risk

Motorola Solutions has a beta of 0.35, meaning that its stock price is 65% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, ViaSat has a beta of 0.78, meaning that its stock price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Motorola Solutions and ViaSat’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%
ViaSat -0.75% 0.13% 0.08%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Motorola Solutions and ViaSat, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Motorola Solutions 0 3 9 0 2.75
ViaSat 1 5 6 0 2.42

Motorola Solutions presently has a consensus target price of $94.36, indicating a potential upside of 4.09%. ViaSat has a consensus target price of $73.80, indicating a potential downside of 1.11%. Given Motorola Solutions’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Motorola Solutions is more favorable than ViaSat.

Summary

Motorola Solutions beats ViaSat on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Motorola Solutions

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.

About ViaSat

ViaSat, Inc. is engaged in broadband technologies and services. The Company operates through three segments: satellite services, commercial networks and government systems. The satellite services segment provides satellite-based broadband services to consumers, enterprises, commercial airlines and mobile broadband customers primarily in the United States. The commercial networks segment develops and produces a range of end-to-end satellite and wireless communication systems, ground networking equipment and space-to-earth connectivity systems. The government systems segment develops and produces network-centric Internet Protocol (IP)-based fixed and mobile secure government communications systems, products, services and solutions, which are designed to enable the collection and dissemination of real-time digital information between command centers, communications nodes and air defense systems.

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