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

Profitability

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

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

Volatility & Risk

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

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. MSC Industrial Direct has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Earnings & Valuation

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

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

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.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

60.7% of Manitex International shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.7% of MSC Industrial Direct shares are held by institutional investors. 6.8% of Manitex International shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 31.3% of MSC Industrial Direct 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 breakdown of recent recommendations for Manitex International and MSC Industrial Direct, as reported by MarketBeat.

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

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

Summary

MSC Industrial Direct beats Manitex International on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

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.

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