Manitex International (NASDAQ: MNTX) and Energy Recovery (NASDAQ:ERII) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, profitabiliy, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

65.2% of Manitex International shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 31.8% of Energy Recovery shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.8% of Manitex International shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 23.6% of Energy Recovery shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Manitex International and Energy Recovery’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Manitex International -13.20% 1.75% 0.56%
Energy Recovery 3.07% 2.44% 1.07%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Manitex International and Energy Recovery, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Manitex International 0 0 2 0 3.00
Energy Recovery 0 0 5 0 3.00

Manitex International presently has a consensus price target of $10.00, suggesting a potential upside of 23.61%. Energy Recovery has a consensus price target of $19.00, suggesting a potential upside of 180.65%. Given Energy Recovery’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Energy Recovery is more favorable than Manitex International.

Risk and Volatility

Manitex International has a beta of 2.08, indicating that its stock price is 108% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Energy Recovery has a beta of 5.51, indicating that its stock price is 451% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Manitex International and Energy Recovery’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Manitex International $271.42 million 0.49 $5.69 million ($2.50) -3.24
Energy Recovery $55.87 million 6.49 $3.95 million $0.03 225.74

Manitex International has higher revenue and earnings than Energy Recovery. Manitex International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Energy Recovery, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Energy Recovery beats Manitex International on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Manitex International

Manitex International, Inc. is a provider of engineered specialty lifting and loading products. The Company operates in three business segments: the Lifting Equipment segment, the A.S.V., LLC (ASV) segment and the Equipment Distribution segment. Through its Lifting Equipment segment, the Company designs, manufactures and distributes a diverse group of products that serve various functions and are used in a range of industries. In the ASV segment, the Company manufactures a line of compact rubber tracked and skid steer loaders. In the Equipment Distribution segment, the Company markets products used primarily for infrastructure development and commercial construction applications that include road and bridge construction, general contracting, roofing, scrap handling, and sign construction and maintenance. The Company, through its subsidiary Manitex, Inc., markets a line of boom trucks, truck cranes and sign cranes.

About Energy Recovery

Energy Recovery, Inc. is an energy solutions provider to industrial fluid flow markets. The Company’s solutions convert wasted pressure energy into a reusable asset and preserve or eliminate pumping technology in hostile processing environments. Its segments include Water, Oil & Gas, and Corporate. The Water Segment focuses on products sold for use in reverse osmosis water desalination. The Oil & Gas Segment consists of products sold for use in hydraulic fracturing, gas processing, and chemical processing. The Company offers energy recovery devices (ERDs) in the water desalination market with its pressure exchanger (PX) and turbocharger technologies. The Company offers VorTeq hydraulic fracturing system, IsoBoost, and IsoGen product lines to the oil and gas market. The Company’s customers include engineering, procurement and construction companies, original equipment manufacturers, international oil companies, national oil companies, and exploration and production companies.

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