Avnet (NYSE: AVT) and Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, dividends, earnings and valuation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

98.5% of Avnet shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.8% of Zebra Technologies Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of Avnet shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.5% of Zebra Technologies Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Avnet has a beta of 1.04, indicating that its stock price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Zebra Technologies Corporation has a beta of 1.62, indicating that its stock price is 62% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Avnet and Zebra Technologies Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Avnet 2.83% 9.24% 3.93%
Zebra Technologies Corporation -2.98% 37.96% 6.41%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Avnet and Zebra Technologies Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Avnet 4 5 0 1 1.80
Zebra Technologies Corporation 0 4 4 0 2.50

Avnet presently has a consensus price target of $41.29, indicating a potential upside of 3.76%. Zebra Technologies Corporation has a consensus price target of $96.83, indicating a potential downside of 3.76%. Given Avnet’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Avnet is more favorable than Zebra Technologies Corporation.

Dividends

Avnet pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Zebra Technologies Corporation does not pay a dividend. Avnet pays out 17.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Zebra Technologies Corporation has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Avnet and Zebra Technologies Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Avnet $26.28 billion 0.19 $990.42 million $4.17 9.54
Zebra Technologies Corporation $3.59 billion 1.48 $602.00 million ($2.06) -48.84

Avnet has higher revenue and earnings than Zebra Technologies Corporation. Zebra Technologies Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Avnet, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Zebra Technologies Corporation beats Avnet on 10 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Avnet

Avnet, Inc. is a distributor of electronic components, enterprise computer, networking and storage products and software, and embedded subsystems. The Company operates through Electronics Marketing (EM) segment. The EM segment markets and sells semiconductors; interconnect, passive and electromechanical devices (IP&E), and embedded products to a customer base serving various end markets. The Company creates a link in the technology supply chain that connects electronic component and computer product manufacturers and software developers with a customer base of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers, original design manufacturers (ODMs), systems integrators (SIs), independent software vendors (ISVs) and value-added resellers (VARs). The Company distributes electronic components, computer products and software, as received from its suppliers or through a customized solution, and offers assembly and other services.

About Zebra Technologies Corporation

Zebra Technologies Corporation designs, manufactures and sells a range of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) products. The Company’s AIDC products include mobile computers, barcode scanners, radio frequency identification (RFID) readers, wireless local area network (WLAN) products, specialty printers for barcode labeling and personal identification, real-time location systems (RTLS), related accessories and supplies, such as self-adhesive labels and other consumables, and utilities and application software. The Company operates through two segments: Enterprise, which comprises its mobile computing, data capture, RFID and WLAN products, and services, and Legacy Zebra, which comprises barcode and card printing, location solutions, supplies and services. The Company’s products are used in automatic identification (auto ID), data collection and personal identification applications.

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