MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE: MSM) and Manitex International (NASDAQ:MNTX) are both industrial products companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends and earnings.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares MSC Industrial Direct and Manitex International’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MSC Industrial Direct $2.88 billion 1.08 $443.59 million $3.99 17.33
Manitex International $274.79 million 0.55 $6.67 million ($2.50) -3.66

MSC Industrial Direct has higher revenue and earnings than Manitex International. Manitex International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than MSC Industrial Direct, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for MSC Industrial Direct and Manitex International, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MSC Industrial Direct 1 9 4 0 2.21
Manitex International 0 0 2 0 3.00

MSC Industrial Direct presently has a consensus price target of $91.09, indicating a potential upside of 31.71%. Manitex International has a consensus price target of $10.00, indicating a potential upside of 9.17%. Given MSC Industrial Direct’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe MSC Industrial Direct is more favorable than Manitex International.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

75.7% of MSC Industrial Direct shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.7% of Manitex International shares are held by institutional investors. 31.3% of MSC Industrial Direct shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.8% of Manitex International shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares MSC Industrial Direct and Manitex International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MSC Industrial Direct 8.07% 20.05% 11.38%
Manitex International -15.69% 2.50% 0.78%

Dividends

MSC Industrial Direct pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Manitex International does not pay a dividend. MSC Industrial Direct pays out 45.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Manitex International has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

MSC Industrial Direct has a beta of 0.51, meaning that its share price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Manitex International has a beta of 2.07, meaning that its share price is 107% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

MSC Industrial Direct beats Manitex International on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About MSC Industrial Direct

MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. is a North American distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products and services. The Company’s range of MRO products include cutting tools, measuring instruments, tooling components, metalworking products, fasteners, flat stock, raw materials, abrasives, machinery hand and power tools, safety and janitorial supplies, plumbing supplies, materials handling products, power transmission components and electrical supplies. The Company serves a range of customers throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, from individual machine shops, to manufacturing companies, to government agencies, such as the General Services Administration and the Department of Defense. The Company also serves durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, education and healthcare markets, among others. As of September 3, 2016, the Company had operated a network of 12 customer fulfillment centers.

About Manitex International

Manitex International, Inc. is a provider of engineered specialty lifting and loading products. The Company operates in three business segments: the Lifting Equipment segment, the A.S.V., LLC (ASV) segment and the Equipment Distribution segment. Through its Lifting Equipment segment, the Company designs, manufactures and distributes a diverse group of products that serve various functions and are used in a range of industries. In the ASV segment, the Company manufactures a line of compact rubber tracked and skid steer loaders. In the Equipment Distribution segment, the Company markets products used primarily for infrastructure development and commercial construction applications that include road and bridge construction, general contracting, roofing, scrap handling, and sign construction and maintenance. The Company, through its subsidiary Manitex, Inc., markets a line of boom trucks, truck cranes and sign cranes.

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