Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI) and Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, profitability, dividends and earnings.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Itron and Emerson Electric’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Itron $1.98 billion 1.41 $221.70 million $0.80 90.00
Emerson Electric $14.76 billion 2.66 $3.18 billion $2.25 27.23

Emerson Electric has higher revenue and earnings than Itron. Emerson Electric is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Itron, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Itron and Emerson Electric, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Itron 0 2 6 0 2.75
Emerson Electric 1 11 3 0 2.13

Itron currently has a consensus target price of $80.00, suggesting a potential upside of 11.11%. Emerson Electric has a consensus target price of $61.44, suggesting a potential upside of 0.30%. Given Itron’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Itron is more favorable than Emerson Electric.

Dividends

Emerson Electric pays an annual dividend of $1.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Itron does not pay a dividend. Emerson Electric pays out 85.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Itron has raised its dividend for 60 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

Itron has a beta of 1.08, meaning that its share price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Emerson Electric has a beta of 1.18, meaning that its share price is 18% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.8% of Itron shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 70.2% of Emerson Electric shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of Itron shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.8% of Emerson Electric shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Itron and Emerson Electric’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Itron 1.60% 15.43% 6.32%
Emerson Electric 8.89% 22.32% 9.25%

Summary

Emerson Electric beats Itron on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Itron

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.

About Emerson Electric

Emerson Electric Co. is a diversified global manufacturing company, which provides solutions to customers by bringing technology and engineering together in the industrial, commercial and consumer markets around the world. The Company operates through four segments based on the nature of the products and services rendered: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Climate Technologies and Commercial & Residential Solutions. The Company’s principal production operations are electronics assembly, metal stamping, forming, casting, machining, welding, plating, heat treating, painting and assembly. In addition, the Company uses specialized production operations, including automatic and semiautomatic testing, automated material handling and storage, ferrous and nonferrous machining, and special furnaces for heat treating and foundry applications. The Company provides measurement, control and diagnostic technologies for automated industrial processes.

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