Nanometrics (NASDAQ: NANO) and Fortive (NYSE:FTV) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation and profitability.

Dividends

Fortive pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Nanometrics does not pay a dividend. Fortive pays out 10.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Nanometrics and Fortive’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nanometrics $221.13 million 2.91 $44.03 million $1.79 14.06
Fortive $6.22 billion 4.17 $872.30 million $2.65 28.17

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

83.2% of Nanometrics shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.9% of Fortive shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.7% of Nanometrics shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 12.1% of Fortive shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Nanometrics and Fortive’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nanometrics 19.23% 10.26% 8.68%
Fortive 14.39% 31.67% 11.32%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Nanometrics and Fortive, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nanometrics 0 0 3 0 3.00
Fortive 0 7 6 0 2.46

Nanometrics presently has a consensus target price of $31.67, indicating a potential upside of 25.86%. Fortive has a consensus target price of $69.50, indicating a potential downside of 6.90%. Given Nanometrics’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Nanometrics is more favorable than Fortive.

Summary

Fortive beats Nanometrics on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Nanometrics Company Profile

Nanometrics Incorporated is a provider of process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, including sensors, optoelectronic devices, high-brightness (HB) light emitting diodes (LEDs), discretes and data storages components. The Company’s automated and integrated metrology systems measure critical dimensions, device structures, topography and various thin film properties, including three-dimensional features and film thickness, as well as optical, electrical and material properties. The Company’s process control solutions are deployed throughout the fabrication process, from front-end-of-line substrate manufacturing, to production of semiconductors and other devices, to three-dimensional wafer-level packaging applications. The Company’s automated systems primarily consist of automated metrology systems that are employed in semiconductor production environments.

Fortive Company Profile

Fortive Corporation is a diversified industrial growth company. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and markets professional and engineered products, software and services for a range of end markets. The Company operates through two segments: Professional Instrumentation and Industrial Technologies. The Company’s brands operate in field instrumentation, transportation, sensing, product realization, automation and specialty, and franchise distribution markets. The Professional Instrumentation segment offers essential products, software and services used to create actionable intelligence by measuring and monitoring a range of physical parameters in industrial applications, including electrical current, radio frequency signals, distance, pressure and temperature. The Industrial Technologies segment offers critical technical equipment, components, software and services for manufacturing, repair and transportation markets around the world.

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