Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ: LRCX) and Photronics (NASDAQ:PLAB) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Lam Research Corporation and Photronics, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lam Research Corporation 0 3 16 0 2.84
Photronics 0 2 1 0 2.33

Lam Research Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $176.33, suggesting a potential upside of 8.63%. Photronics has a consensus target price of $12.00, suggesting a potential upside of 53.85%. Given Photronics’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Photronics is more favorable than Lam Research Corporation.

Dividends

Lam Research Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Photronics does not pay a dividend. Lam Research Corporation pays out 19.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Lam Research Corporation and Photronics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lam Research Corporation 21.19% 26.78% 14.96%
Photronics 2.97% 1.34% 1.12%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

94.1% of Lam Research Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.1% of Photronics shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.5% of Lam Research Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.7% of Photronics shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Lam Research Corporation has a beta of 1.46, indicating that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Photronics has a beta of 0.48, indicating that its stock price is 52% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Lam Research Corporation and Photronics’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lam Research Corporation $8.01 billion 3.29 $2.22 billion $9.20 17.64
Photronics $437.08 million 1.23 $111.14 million $0.20 39.00

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

Summary

Lam Research Corporation beats Photronics on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Lam Research Corporation

Lam Research Corporation is a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. The Company designs, manufactures, markets, refurbishes and services semiconductor processing systems that are used in the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs). It operates through manufacturing and servicing of wafer processing semiconductor manufacturing equipment segment. Its products are designed to enable its customers build a range of devices that are used in a range of electronic products, including cell phones, tablets, computers, storage devices, and networking equipment. Its customer base includes semiconductor memory, foundry, and integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) that make products, such as dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), negative-AND (NAND) memory and logic devices. It offers a portfolio of products that are used in several areas of the semiconductor manufacturing process flow, including thin film deposition, plasma etch and single-wafer clean.

About Photronics

Photronics, Inc. is a manufacturer of photomasks, which are photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. As of October 30, 2016, the Company operated principally from nine manufacturing facilities: two located in Europe, three in Taiwan, one in Korea and three in the United States. Photomasks are used in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat panel displays (FPDs), and are used as masters to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel substrates during the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs), and a range of FPDs and other types of electrical and optical components. The Company offers reticle and photomask maintenance, including pellicle replacement, mask cleaning and re-certification, at all its sites across the world. Its products include Mature Binary, Advanced Binary Reticles, Phase Shift Masks-Embedded Attenuated Phase Shift Masks (EAPSM), Other Advanced Products and Large Area Masks.

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