Belden (NYSE: BDC) and Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM) are both industrial products companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.4% of Polycom shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.4% of Belden shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of Polycom shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Belden has a beta of 2.28, suggesting that its share price is 128% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Polycom has a beta of 1.41, suggesting that its share price is 41% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Belden and Polycom’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Belden $2.38 billion 1.28 $441.71 million $2.31 31.30
Polycom N/A N/A N/A $0.16 77.94

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Belden and Polycom, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Belden 0 4 6 0 2.60
Polycom 0 0 0 0 N/A

Belden presently has a consensus target price of $84.38, suggesting a potential upside of 16.70%. Given Belden’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Belden is more favorable than Polycom.

Dividends

Belden pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Polycom does not pay a dividend. Belden pays out 8.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Belden and Polycom’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Belden 5.53% 16.31% 6.21%
Polycom -3.47% -3.73% -2.23%

Summary

Belden beats Polycom on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Belden Company Profile

Belden Inc. is a signal transmission solutions provider company. The Company operates through five segment: Broadcast Solutions (Broadcast), Enterprise Connectivity Solutions (Enterprise), Industrial Connectivity Solutions (Industrial Connectivity), Industrial IT Solutions (Industrial IT), and Network Security Solutions (Network Security). The segments design, manufacture, and market a portfolio of signal transmission solutions for applications used in a variety of end markets, including broadcast, enterprise, and industrial. The Company’s portfolio of signal transmission solutions provides transmission of data, sound, and video for various applications. The Company’s sells its products to distributors, end users, installers, and to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Company has manufacturing facilities in the United States, other manufacturing and operating facilities in Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and St. Kitts, as well as in various countries in Europe.

Polycom Company Profile

Polycom, Inc. (Polycom) offers solutions for voice, video and content sharing and a line of support and service solutions. The Company operates in Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific (APAC) geographic segments. The Company’s video, voice and content-management and content-sharing solutions include applications for mobile devices, browser-based video collaboration, cloud-delivered services, conference room systems and home/work office solutions and immersive telepresence. It offers various products and solutions, which include UC Group Systems, UC Platform and UC Personal Devices. UC Group Systems includes group video, group voice and immersive telepresence systems. UC Platform includes universal collaboration servers, virtualization management, resource management, recording and streaming, and remote access technologies that constitute the RealPresence Platform. UC Personal Devices includes group video, group voice and immersive telepresence systems.

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