Image Sensing Systems (NASDAQ: ISNS) and Cascade Microtech (NASDAQ:CSCD) are both small-cap testing & measuring equipment companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability and risk.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Image Sensing Systems and Cascade Microtech’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Image Sensing Systems $14.14 million 1.04 $680,000.00 $0.06 47.50
Cascade Microtech N/A N/A N/A $0.72 30.36

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

Profitability

This table compares Image Sensing Systems and Cascade Microtech’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Image Sensing Systems 2.39% 7.05% 5.36%
Cascade Microtech 5.72% 7.19% 5.97%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Image Sensing Systems and Cascade Microtech, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Image Sensing Systems 0 0 0 0 N/A
Cascade Microtech 0 0 1 0 3.00

Cascade Microtech has a consensus price target of $15.50, indicating a potential downside of 29.09%. Given Cascade Microtech’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Cascade Microtech is more favorable than Image Sensing Systems.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

14.5% of Image Sensing Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.0% of Image Sensing Systems 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

Image Sensing Systems has a beta of 0.56, suggesting that its share price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cascade Microtech has a beta of 1.09, suggesting that its share price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Cascade Microtech beats Image Sensing Systems on 7 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Image Sensing Systems

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.

About Cascade Microtech

Cascade Microtech, Inc. is a designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of wafer probing, thermal and reliability solutions for the electrical measurement and testing of semiconductor devices. The Company operates in two business segments: Systems and Probes. The Systems business segment is engaged in the sale of probe stations, thermal subsystems and reliability test systems. The Probes segment is engaged in the sale of analytical probes and production probe cards. The Company designs, manufactures and sells multiple product lines, including probe stations, thermal subsystems, reliability test systems, analytical probes, production probe cards, and various services and accessories. Probing systems are used in the development of semiconductor processes and designs. The 1164 Reliability Test System is a modular and scalable test platform that can be used in a range of reliability test applications.

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