BCE (NYSE: BCE) and Black Box Corporation (NASDAQ:BBOX) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk and profitabiliy.

Risk and Volatility

BCE has a beta of 0.38, indicating that its share price is 62% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Black Box Corporation has a beta of 0.74, indicating that its share price is 26% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares BCE and Black Box Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
BCE 13.36% 22.03% 5.95%
Black Box Corporation -0.83% 7.74% 2.54%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for BCE and Black Box Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
BCE 0 3 5 0 2.63
Black Box Corporation 0 0 0 0 N/A

BCE presently has a consensus target price of $60.38, indicating a potential upside of 35.34%. Given BCE’s higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe BCE is more favorable than Black Box Corporation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

44.2% of BCE shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.7% of Black Box Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of BCE shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.5% of Black Box Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

BCE pays an annual dividend of $2.13 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.8%. Black Box Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.2%. BCE pays out 85.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Black Box Corporation pays out -104.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Black Box Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares BCE and Black Box Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
BCE $16.52 billion 2.43 $6.21 billion $2.48 17.99
Black Box Corporation $855.73 million 0.14 $31.73 million ($0.46) -16.85

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

Summary

BCE beats Black Box Corporation on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

BCE Company Profile

BCE Inc. is a communications company. The Company’s segments include Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline and Bell Media. Its Bell Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data communications products and services to its residential, small and medium-sized business and large enterprise customers across Canada. Its Bell Wireline segment provides data, including Internet access and Internet protocol television (IPTV), local telephone, long distance, as well as other communications services and products to its residential, small and medium-sized business and large enterprise customers, primarily in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, while Satellite television (TV) service and connectivity to business customers are available nationally across Canada. Its Bell Media segment provides conventional, specialty and pay Television, digital media, and radio broadcasting services and out of home (OOH) advertising services to customers across Canada.

Black Box Corporation Company Profile

Black Box Corporation is a technology solutions provider. The Company is engaged in designing, building, managing and securing the information technology (IT) infrastructure. Offerings under the Company’s Products platform include IT infrastructure, specialty networking, multimedia and keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) switching. Offerings under its Services platform include unified communications, data infrastructure and managed services. It conducts business globally and manages its business on a geographic-service type basis consisting of four segments: North America Products, North America Services, International Products and International Services. The offerings of its Products platform are distributed through value-added resellers, direct marketing manufacturers, mass merchandisers, Web retailers and others. The offerings of its Services platform are distributed through value-added resellers, manufacturers and large system integrators, among others.

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