Columbus McKinnon Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCO) and Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitabiliy, earnings and risk.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Columbus McKinnon Corporation and Astec Industries’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Columbus McKinnon Corporation $691.84 million 1.05 $79.80 million $0.64 50.09
Astec Industries $1.19 billion 0.94 $100.32 million $2.10 23.07

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

Risk & Volatility

Columbus McKinnon Corporation has a beta of 1.92, indicating that its share price is 92% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Astec Industries has a beta of 1.09, indicating that its share price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Columbus McKinnon Corporation and Astec Industries, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Columbus McKinnon Corporation 0 0 3 0 3.00
Astec Industries 0 1 1 0 2.50

Columbus McKinnon Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $33.67, suggesting a potential upside of 5.01%. Astec Industries has a consensus target price of $85.00, suggesting a potential upside of 75.44%. Given Astec Industries’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Astec Industries is more favorable than Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Columbus McKinnon Corporation and Astec Industries’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Columbus McKinnon Corporation 2.06% 10.30% 3.60%
Astec Industries 4.08% 7.40% 5.64%

Dividends

Columbus McKinnon Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Astec Industries pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Columbus McKinnon Corporation pays out 25.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Astec Industries pays out 19.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Astec Industries is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

84.9% of Columbus McKinnon Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.4% of Astec Industries shares are held by institutional investors. 3.9% of Columbus McKinnon Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.7% of Astec Industries shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Columbus McKinnon Corporation Company Profile

Columbus McKinnon Corporation is a global designer, manufacturer and marketer of hoists, actuators, cranes, rigging tools, digital power control systems, and other material handling products serving various commercial and industrial end user markets. The Company’s products include various electric, air-powered, lever, and hand hoists, hoist trolleys, winches, industrial crane systems, such as steel bridge, gantry and jib cranes and aluminum work station cranes; alloy and carbon steel chain; forged attachments, such as hooks, shackles, textile slings, clamps, logging tools and load binders; mechanical and electromechanical actuators and rotary unions; below-the-hook special purpose lifters and tire shredders; power and motion control systems, such as alternate current (AC) and direct current (DC) drive systems, radio remote controls, push button pendant stations, brakes, and collision avoidance and power delivery subsystems.

Astec Industries Company Profile

Astec Industries, Inc. designs, engineers, manufactures and markets equipment and components used primarily in road building and related construction activities. Its segments include Infrastructure Group, Aggregate and Mining Group and Energy Group. The Infrastructure Group segment is made up of five business units, including Astec, Inc., Roadtec, Inc., Carlson Paving Products, Inc., Astec Mobile Machinery GmbH and Astec Australia Pty Ltd. Its Aggregate and Mining Group consists of eight business units that are focused on designing and manufacturing heavy processing equipment, as well as servicing and supplying parts for the aggregate, metallic mining, recycling, ports and bulk handling markets. Its Energy Group includes five business units focused on supplying heavy equipment, such as heaters, drilling rigs, concrete plants, wood chippers and grinders, pump trailers, storage equipment and related parts to the oil and gas, construction and water well industries.

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