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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.1% of Itron shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 83.6% of Hubbell shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of Itron shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of Hubbell shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Itron and Hubbell’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Itron $2.01 billion 1.27 $31.77 million $1.71 38.60
Hubbell $3.51 billion 1.88 $293.00 million $5.19 23.21

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Itron 3.42% 14.84% 6.26%
Hubbell 7.96% 19.69% 8.82%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Itron and Hubbell, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Itron 0 3 5 0 2.63
Hubbell 0 3 1 0 2.25

Itron currently has a consensus target price of $81.75, indicating a potential upside of 23.86%. Hubbell has a consensus target price of $122.00, indicating a potential upside of 1.29%. Given Itron’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Itron is more favorable than Hubbell.

Dividends

Hubbell pays an annual dividend of $2.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Itron does not pay a dividend. Hubbell pays out 53.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk & Volatility

Itron has a beta of 1.07, indicating that its share price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hubbell has a beta of 1.1, indicating that its share price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Hubbell beats Itron on 9 of the 16 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 Hubbell

Hubbell Incorporated is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of electrical and electronic products for a range of non-residential and residential construction, industrial and utility applications. The Company’s segments include Electrical and the Power. The Electrical segment consists of businesses that sell stock and custom products, including standard and special application wiring device products, rough-in electrical products, lighting fixtures and controls, components and assemblies for the natural gas distribution market, as well as other electrical equipment. In addition, certain businesses design and manufacture a range of high voltage test and measurement equipment, industrial controls and communication systems used in the non-residential and industrial markets. The Power segment consists of operations that design and manufacture various distribution, transmission, substation and telecommunications products primarily used by the electrical utility industry.

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