General Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC) and Itron (NASDAQ:ITRI) are both industrial products companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, profitability, institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Dividends

General Cable Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.1%. Itron does not pay a dividend. General Cable Corporation pays out -20.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares General Cable Corporation and Itron’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
General Cable Corporation -4.80% 13.47% 1.10%
Itron 1.60% 15.43% 6.32%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

98.9% of General Cable Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.8% of Itron shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.8% of General Cable Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Itron shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

General Cable Corporation has a beta of 2.84, indicating that its share price is 184% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Itron has a beta of 1.08, indicating that its share price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for General Cable Corporation and Itron, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
General Cable Corporation 0 2 0 0 2.00
Itron 0 2 5 0 2.71

Itron has a consensus target price of $80.00, suggesting a potential upside of 10.57%. Given Itron’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Itron is more favorable than General Cable Corporation.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares General Cable Corporation and Itron’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
General Cable Corporation $3.70 billion 0.24 $209.90 million ($3.57) -4.96
Itron $1.98 billion 1.41 $221.70 million $0.80 90.44

Itron has higher revenue, but lower earnings than General Cable Corporation. General Cable Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Itron, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Itron beats General Cable Corporation on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

General Cable Corporation Company Profile

General Cable Corporation is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for use in the energy, industrial, construction, specialty and communications markets. The Company’s segments include North America, Europe, Latin America, and Africa/Asia Pacific. The Company produces and sells to a range of end markets, including markets for electric utility, electrical infrastructure, communications, construction and rod mill products. As of December 31, 2016, the North America segment included 17 manufacturing facilities across the region. The Europe segment consists of six manufacturing facilities across the region. The Latin America segment consists of six manufacturing facilities across the region. The Africa/Asia Pacific segment consists of four manufacturing facilities across the segment.

Itron Company Profile

Itron, Inc. (Itron) is a technology and service company. The Company provides solutions that measure, manage and analyze energy and water use. The Company operates through three segments: Electricity, Gas and Water. It provides a portfolio of products, solutions, software and services to electric, gas and water utility customers across the globe. It offers solutions that enable electric and natural gas utilities to build smart grids to manage assets. It offers a product portfolio, including standard meters and smart metering products, systems and services, for applications in the residential and commercial industrial markets for water and heat. The Company operates under the Itron brand across the world. Its Gas and Water manufacturing facilities are located throughout the world, while its Electricity manufacturing facilities are located in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and North America.

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