Hutchinson Technology (NASDAQ: HTCH) and Mueller Industries (NYSE:MLI) are both industrials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitabiliy, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Hutchinson Technology and Mueller Industries, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Hutchinson Technology 0 0 0 0 N/A
Mueller Industries 0 0 0 0 N/A

Dividends

Mueller Industries pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Hutchinson Technology does not pay a dividend. Mueller Industries pays out 22.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Mueller Industries has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

31.6% of Hutchinson Technology shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.3% of Mueller Industries shares are held by institutional investors. 7.6% of Hutchinson Technology shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.8% of Mueller Industries shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Hutchinson Technology and Mueller Industries’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Hutchinson Technology -12.87% -50.69% -12.38%
Mueller Industries 4.65% 13.99% 7.37%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Hutchinson Technology and Mueller Industries’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Hutchinson Technology N/A N/A N/A ($0.92) -4.33
Mueller Industries $2.17 billion 0.82 $199.46 million $1.75 17.61

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

Volatility & Risk

Hutchinson Technology has a beta of 0.66, indicating that its stock price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Mueller Industries has a beta of 1.37, indicating that its stock price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Mueller Industries beats Hutchinson Technology on 9 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Hutchinson Technology

Hutchinson Technology Incorporated is a global supplier of critical precision component technologies. The Company is engaged in manufacturing suspension assemblies for all sizes and types of hard disk drives. Suspension assemblies are components of disk drives that hold the read/write heads in position above the spinning magnetic disks. It manufactures its suspension assemblies with technology and processes with low part-to-part variation. The Company categorizes its products as either suspension assemblies or other revenue, which consists primarily of revenue outside of the disk drive industry for precision component manufacturing, tool design, tool build and metrology, suspension assembly components, reimbursement for disk drive industry-related engineering services and specific disk drive program capacity, and biomeasurement products. It sells its suspension assemblies to original equipment manufacturers.

About Mueller Industries

Mueller Industries, Inc. is a manufacturer of copper, brass, aluminum and plastic products. The Company operates through three segments: Piping Systems, Industrial Metals and Climate. The Company’s products include copper tube and fittings; line sets; brass and copper alloy rod, bar, and shapes; aluminum and brass forgings; aluminum impact extrusions; plastic fittings and valves; refrigeration valves and fittings; fabricated tubular products, and steel nipples. The Company also resells imported brass and plastic plumbing valves, malleable iron fittings, faucets, and plumbing specialty products. The Company’s operations are located throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, South Korea, and China. The Company markets its products to the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, refrigeration, hardware, and other industries.

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