Mesa Laboratories (NASDAQ: MLAB) and Sensata Technologies (NYSE:ST) are both medical companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings and Valuation

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This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Sensata Technologies’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mesa Laboratories $93.67 million 6.86 $11.18 million $4.22 40.28
Sensata Technologies $3.31 billion 2.79 $408.35 million $3.19 16.88

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Mesa Laboratories and Sensata Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mesa Laboratories 0 0 0 0 N/A
Sensata Technologies 0 5 6 0 2.55

Sensata Technologies has a consensus target price of $56.45, suggesting a potential upside of 4.84%. Given Sensata Technologies’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Sensata Technologies is more favorable than Mesa Laboratories.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

72.9% of Mesa Laboratories shares are held by institutional investors. 15.7% of Mesa Laboratories shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Sensata Technologies shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Sensata Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mesa Laboratories -3.82% 9.20% 5.37%
Sensata Technologies 12.35% 25.40% 8.47%

Dividends

Mesa Laboratories pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Sensata Technologies does not pay a dividend. Mesa Laboratories pays out 15.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility & Risk

Mesa Laboratories has a beta of 0.5, meaning that its share price is 50% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sensata Technologies has a beta of 1.51, meaning that its share price is 51% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Sensata Technologies beats Mesa Laboratories on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Mesa Laboratories

Mesa Laboratories, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets quality control instruments and disposable products. The company's Instruments segment offers data loggers, which are precision instruments used in critical manufacturing, quality control, and validation applications; medical meters and calibration solutions used to test various parameters of the dialysis fluid, and the calibration and operation of the dialysis machine; gas flow calibration and air sampling equipment that are used for industrial hygiene assessments, calibration of gas metering equipment, and environmental air monitoring; and torque testing systems used for measure bottle cap tightness. This segment's products are used in healthcare, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, medical device, industrial hygiene, environmental air sampling, and semiconductor industries. Its Biological Indicators segment manufactures and markets biological indicators comprising spore strips, self-contained products, and culture media, as well as process challenge devices; and testing services. This segment also distributes chemical indicators that are used to assess the effectiveness of sterilization processes, including steam, hydrogen peroxide, ethylene oxide, and radiation. The company's Cold Chain Monitoring segment offers systems, which are used to monitor various environmental parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and differential pressure for use in hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, blood banks, pharmacies, and various other laboratory and industrial environments; and parameter monitoring services for products in a cold chain. Its Cold Chain Packaging segment offers packaging development consulting services and thermal packaging products. The company markets its products through distributors in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, Canada, and Central America. Mesa Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado.

About Sensata Technologies

Sensata Technologies Holding N.V. is an industrial technology company. The Company is engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of sensors and controls. The Company operates through two segments: Performance Sensing and Sensing Solutions. It produces a range of sensors and controls for applications, such as pressure sensors in automotive systems, thermal circuit breakers in aircraft, and bimetal current and temperature control devices. Its sensors are devices that translate a physical phenomenon, such as pressure or position, into electronic signals that microprocessors can act upon. Its controls are customized devices embedded within systems to protect them from excessive heat or current. Its primary products include low-, medium-, and high-pressure sensors, speed and position sensors, bimetal electromechanical controls, temperature sensors, power conversion and control products, thermal and magnetic-hydraulic circuit breakers, pressure switches and interconnection products.

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