Key Technology (NASDAQ: KTEC) and Amtech Systems (NASDAQ:ASYS) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations and profitability.


This table compares Key Technology and Amtech Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Key Technology 2.58% 5.27% 3.31%
Amtech Systems 1.00% 2.34% 1.18%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

44.6% of Key Technology shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 50.0% of Amtech Systems shares are held by institutional investors. 29.4% of Key Technology shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 34.6% of Amtech Systems shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Key Technology and Amtech Systems, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Key Technology 0 0 0 0 N/A
Amtech Systems 0 0 3 0 3.00

Amtech Systems has a consensus price target of $12.50, indicating a potential upside of 14.36%. Given Amtech Systems’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Amtech Systems is more favorable than Key Technology.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Key Technology and Amtech Systems’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Key Technology $129.89 million 0.73 $10.16 million $0.52 28.25
Amtech Systems $152.25 million 0.96 $4.90 million $0.12 91.08

Key Technology has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Amtech Systems. Key Technology is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Amtech Systems, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Key Technology has a beta of 1.06, suggesting that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Amtech Systems has a beta of 2.05, suggesting that its share price is 105% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Amtech Systems beats Key Technology on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Key Technology

Key Technology, Inc. is a supplier of process automation solutions to the food processing industry and other industries, such as tobacco and pharmaceuticals. The Company designs, manufactures, sells and services automation equipment that processes product streams of discrete pieces. These systems integrate electro-optical automated inspection and digital sorting systems with other processing systems that include specialized conveying and preparation equipment. The Company provides parts and service for each of its product lines to customers around the world. Its automated inspection systems are used in various applications to detect and remove defects and foreign material from the product stream. It offers conveying and processing equipment, which are utilized throughout various industries to move and process product within a production plant. Its Integrated Solutions Group (ISG) provides integrated whole-line solutions. It has an installed base of inspection and processing systems.

About Amtech Systems

Amtech Systems, Inc. is engaged in the manufacture of capital equipment, including thermal processing, silicon wafer handling automation and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells, Light Emitting Diode (LED) and semiconductor devices. The Company operates through three business segments: solar, semiconductor and polishing. The solar segment supplies thermal processing systems, including diffusion; plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD); atomic layer deposition (ALD), and related automation, parts and services to the solar/photovoltaic industry. The semiconductor segment supplies thermal processing equipment, including solder reflow equipment and related controls for use by the semiconductor manufacturers and in electronics assembly for automotive and other industries. The polishing supplies segment produces consumables and machinery for lapping (fine abrading) and polishing of materials, such as sapphire substrates and optical components.

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