Critical Review: AstroNova (NASDAQ:ALOT) & Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS)

AstroNova (NASDAQ:ALOT) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) are both small-cap business services 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.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

59.0% of AstroNova shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 72.1% of Stratasys shares are held by institutional investors. 7.8% of AstroNova shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.3% of Stratasys shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for AstroNova and Stratasys, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
AstroNova 0 0 0 0 N/A
Stratasys 2 1 3 0 2.17

Stratasys has a consensus price target of $24.00, suggesting a potential downside of 17.98%. Given Stratasys’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Stratasys is more favorable than AstroNova.

Risk & Volatility

AstroNova has a beta of 0.25, meaning that its stock price is 75% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Stratasys has a beta of 2.03, meaning that its stock price is 103% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

AstroNova pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Stratasys does not pay a dividend. AstroNova pays out 34.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares AstroNova and Stratasys’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
AstroNova 4.68% 9.75% 5.69%
Stratasys -0.03% 1.40% 1.16%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares AstroNova and Stratasys’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
AstroNova $136.66 million 1.29 $5.73 million $0.82 30.66
Stratasys $663.24 million 2.38 -$10.96 million $0.23 127.22

AstroNova has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Stratasys. AstroNova is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Stratasys, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Stratasys beats AstroNova on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

AstroNova Company Profile

AstroNova, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes specialty printers, and data acquisition and analysis systems in the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Product Identification and Test & Measurement (T&M). The Product Identification segment offers tabletop and work cell-ready digital color label printers, as well as specialty OEM printing systems under the QuickLabel brand; and labels, tags, inks, toner, and thermal transfer ribbons under the GetLabels brand. This segment also offers T2-C, a digital mini press for 24/7 label production; T2, a label press with a full-size PC display; T4 for print, die cut, and lamination; and T3, a modular over-printer under the TrojanLabel brand. In addition, this segment licenses various specialized software used to operate the printers and presses, design labels, and manage printing on an automated basis. It serves chemicals, cosmetics, food and beverage, medical products, pharmaceuticals, and other industries, as well as brand owners, label converters, commercial printers, and packaging manufacturers. The T&M segment offers visual data from local and networked data streams and sensors; a range of hardware and software products under the AstroNova T&M brand; Daxus DXS-100 distributed data acquisition systems; TMX high-speed data acquisition systems; SmartCorder DDX100 portable data acquisition systems; EV-500, a digital strip chart recording system; PTA-45B cockpit printers; and ToughWriter, Miltope, and RITEC branded airborne printers. Its AstroNova airborne printers are used in flight decks, as well as military, commercial, and business aircraft cabins; and ToughSwitch Ethernet switches used in military aircraft and vehicles. The company was formerly known as Astro-Med, Inc. and changed its name to AstroNova, Inc. in May 2016. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Stratasys Company Profile

Stratasys Ltd. provides 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions for individuals, businesses, and enterprises. Its 3D printing systems utilize its fused deposition modeling (FDM) and inkjet-based PolyJet technologies to enable the production of prototypes, tools used for production, and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files or other 3D content. The company offers entry-level desktop 3D printers to systems for rapid prototyping, and production systems for direct digital manufacturing. It also provides 3D printing consumable materials, including FDM cartridge-based materials, PolyJet cartridge-based materials, non-color digital materials, and color variations. In addition, the company offers GrabCAD Print software that provides job programming, scheduling, monitoring, and analytics across its various 3D printing technologies; and GrabCAD Workbench, a cloud-based project data management solution. Further, it operates Thingiverse, an online community for sharing downloadable digital 3D designs; and GrabCAD Community for mechanical engineers, designers, manufacturers, and students to best practices through tutorials, discussion forums, and design/print challenges. Additionally, the company offers customer support, basic warranty, and extended support programs, as well as strategy, operations, and engineering consultancy services; leases or rents 3D printers and 3D production systems; produces prototypes and end-use parts for customers from a customer-provided CAD file; and provides plastic and metal parts for rapid prototyping and production processes, as well as related professional services, carbon-fiber based printers, and elastomeric materials. Its products and services are primarily used in the automotive, aerospace, medical, dental, and education markets. The company sells its products through a network of resellers and independent sales agents worldwide. Stratasys Ltd. was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

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