Contrasting Preformed Line Products (PLPC) & Houston Wire & Cable (HWCC)

Preformed Line Products (NASDAQ: PLPC) and Houston Wire & Cable (NASDAQ:HWCC) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership and earnings.

Volatility and Risk

Preformed Line Products has a beta of 1.23, meaning that its share price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Houston Wire & Cable has a beta of 1.61, meaning that its share price is 61% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Preformed Line Products and Houston Wire & Cable’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Preformed Line Products $336.63 million 0.99 $15.25 million $3.33 19.67
Houston Wire & Cable $261.64 million 0.43 -$6.00 million ($0.25) -27.20

Preformed Line Products has higher revenue and earnings than Houston Wire & Cable. Houston Wire & Cable is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Preformed Line Products, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Preformed Line Products and Houston Wire & Cable’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Preformed Line Products 4.64% 7.30% 4.85%
Houston Wire & Cable -1.33% -0.86% -0.43%

Dividends

Preformed Line Products pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Houston Wire & Cable does not pay a dividend. Preformed Line Products pays out 24.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

45.3% of Preformed Line Products shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.0% of Houston Wire & Cable shares are held by institutional investors. 37.7% of Preformed Line Products shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.0% of Houston Wire & Cable shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Preformed Line Products and Houston Wire & Cable, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Preformed Line Products 0 0 0 0 N/A
Houston Wire & Cable 0 0 1 0 3.00

Houston Wire & Cable has a consensus target price of $8.00, indicating a potential upside of 17.65%. Given Houston Wire & Cable’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Houston Wire & Cable is more favorable than Preformed Line Products.

Summary

Preformed Line Products beats Houston Wire & Cable on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Preformed Line Products

Preformed Line Products Company (PLPC) is a designer and manufacturer of products and systems employed in the construction and maintenance of overhead and underground networks for the energy, telecommunication, cable operators and information industries. The Company’s products include Formed Wire and Related Hardware Products, Protective Closures, Plastic Products and Other Products. The Company operates through four segments: PLP-USA (including corporate), The Americas (includes operations in North and South America without PLP-USA), EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia-Pacific. The Company’s PLP-USA segment consists of its United States operations manufacturing its traditional products primarily supporting its domestic energy, telecommunications and solar products. Its other three segments, The Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, support its energy, telecommunications, data communication and solar products in each respective geographical region.

About Houston Wire & Cable

Houston Wire & Cable Company is a holding company. The Company is engaged in provision of electrical and mechanical wire and cable, hardware and related services. It operates through sales of wire and cable, hardware and related services segment in the United States market. Its cable management program includes purchasing and storing inventory for product availability. The Company offers products in categories of wire and cable, including continuous and interlocked armor cable; control and power cable; electronic wire and cable; flexible and portable cord; instrumentation and thermocouple cable; lead and high temperature cable; medium voltage cable; premise and category wire and cable; primary and secondary aluminum distribution cable, and synthetic fiber rope slings, chain, shackles, and other related hardware. The Company also offers private branded products, including its brand LifeGuard, a low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) cable. Its products are used in repair and replacement work.

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