Chart Industries (NASDAQ: GTLS) and Image Sensing Systems (NASDAQ:ISNS) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, risk, valuation, profitabiliy and analyst recommendations.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Chart Industries and Image Sensing Systems’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Chart Industries $860.61 million 1.22 $68.59 million $0.37 92.57
Image Sensing Systems $13.99 million 1.16 $1.46 million $0.23 13.70

Chart Industries has higher revenue and earnings than Image Sensing Systems. Image Sensing Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Chart Industries, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Chart Industries has a beta of 1.28, suggesting that its stock price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Image Sensing Systems has a beta of 0.45, suggesting that its stock price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

85.9% of Chart Industries shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 15.7% of Image Sensing Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.1% of Chart Industries shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.0% of Image Sensing Systems shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Chart Industries and Image Sensing Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Chart Industries 1.35% 3.28% 1.89%
Image Sensing Systems 8.41% 19.76% 14.74%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Chart Industries and Image Sensing Systems, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Chart Industries 0 6 3 0 2.33
Image Sensing Systems 0 0 0 0 N/A

Chart Industries currently has a consensus target price of $40.50, indicating a potential upside of 18.25%. Given Chart Industries’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Chart Industries is more favorable than Image Sensing Systems.

Summary

Chart Industries beats Image Sensing Systems on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Chart Industries Company Profile

Chart Industries, Inc. is a diversified global manufacturer of engineered equipment, packaged solutions, and value-add services used throughout the industrial gas, energy and biomedical industries. The Company operates through three business segments: Energy & Chemicals (E&C), Distribution & Storage (D&S) and BioMedical. The E&C and D&S segments manufacture products used in energy-related and industrial applications, such as the separation, liquefaction, distribution and storage of hydrocarbon and industrial gases. Through the BioMedical segment, it manufactures and supplies medical devices, including cryogenic and non-cryogenic equipment, used in respiratory healthcare. The Company also manufactures and supplies products for life sciences, including biological research and animal breeding. Applications in the BioMedical segment include Respiratory Therapy, Life Sciences, Commercial Oxygen and Nitrogen Generation.

Image Sensing Systems Company Profile

Image Sensing Systems, Inc. is a provider of software-based products and solutions for the intelligent transportation systems (ITS) industry. The Company develops and markets video and radar processing products for use in traffic, security, police and parking applications, such as intersection control, highway, bridge and tunnel traffic management, venue security, entry control and traffic data collection. The Company operates through two segments: Intersection and Highway. Video products are sold in the Intersection segment. Radar products are sold in the Highway segment. The Company’s family of products, which it markets as Autoscope video or video products (Autoscope) and RTMS radar or radar products (RTMS), provides end users with the tools that manage traffic flow and support driver safety. Its technology analyzes signals from sensors and transmits the information to management systems and controllers or directly to users.

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