Corning (NYSE:GLW) and Optical Cable (NASDAQ:OCC) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, risk, valuation, earnings and institutional ownership.

Risk & Volatility

Corning has a beta of 1.28, meaning that its stock price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Optical Cable has a beta of 0.25, meaning that its stock price is 75% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Corning and Optical Cable’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Corning -5.86% 13.22% 6.06%
Optical Cable 0.98% 3.37% 1.83%

Dividends

Corning pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Optical Cable does not pay a dividend. Corning pays out 41.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Corning has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Corning and Optical Cable’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Corning $10.12 billion 2.66 -$497.00 million $1.72 19.51
Optical Cable $64.09 million 0.61 -$1.73 million N/A N/A

Optical Cable has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Corning.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

70.6% of Corning shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 10.7% of Optical Cable shares are held by institutional investors. 0.5% of Corning shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 24.3% of Optical Cable shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Corning and Optical Cable, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Corning 0 4 5 0 2.56
Optical Cable 0 0 0 0 N/A

Corning presently has a consensus target price of $36.13, suggesting a potential upside of 7.64%. Given Corning’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Corning is more favorable than Optical Cable.

Summary

Corning beats Optical Cable on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Corning

Corning Incorporated manufactures and sells specialty glasses, ceramics, and related materials in North America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and internationally. The company operates through five segments: Display Technologies, Optical Communications, Environmental Technologies, Specialty Materials, and Life Sciences. The Display Technologies segment manufactures glass substrates for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used in LCD televisions, notebook computers, and flat panel desktop monitors. The Optical Communications segment manufactures optical fiber and cable; and hardware and equipment products comprising cable assemblies, fiber optic hardware and connectors, optical components and couplers, closures, network interface devices, and other accessories for various carrier network applications. This segment also offers subscriber demarcation, connection and protection devices, various digital subscriber line passive solutions, and outside plant enclosures; and coaxial RF interconnects for the cable television industry and microwave applications. The Environmental Technologies segment manufactures ceramic substrates and filter products for emissions control in mobile, gasoline, and diesel applications. The Specialty Materials segment manufactures products that provide material formulations for glass, glass ceramics, and fluoride crystals. The Life Sciences segment manufactures and supplies scientific laboratory products consisting of consumables, such as plastic vessels, specialty surfaces, and media and serum, as well as general labware and equipment for cell culture research, bioprocessing, genomics, drug discovery, microbiology, and chemistry. The company was formerly known as Corning Glass Works and changed its name to Corning Incorporated in April 1989. Corning Incorporated was founded in 1851 and is headquartered in Corning, New York.

About Optical Cable

Optical Cable Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells fiber optic and copper data communications cabling and connectivity solutions primarily for the enterprise market in the United States and internationally. The company provides fiber optic cables for high bandwidth transmission of data, video, and voice communications; and copper datacom cables, including unshielded and shielded twisted pair. It also offers fiber optic connectivity products, including fiber optic wall mounts, cabinet mount and rack mount enclosures, pre-terminated fiber optic enclosures, fiber optic connectors, splice trays, fiber optic jumpers, plug and play cassette modules, pre-terminated fiber optic cable assemblies, adapters, and accessories. In addition, the company provides copper connectivity products comprising category compliant patch panels, jacks, plugs, patch cords, faceplates, surface mounted boxes, distribution and multi-media boxes, copper rack mount and wall mount enclosures, cable assemblies, cable organizers, and other wiring products for datacenter, telecommunications closet, equipment room, and workstation applications. Further, it offers network, data storage, and telecommunications management systems, such as data cabinets, wall-mount enclosures, cable management systems, and open frame relay racks for enterprise and residential use; and datacom wiring products, such as various enclosures, modules, and modular outlets for single dwelling and multiple dwelling residential uses. Additionally, the company provides specialty fiber optic connectors and connectivity components, ruggedized copper datacom connectors, and related systems and solutions for military and harsh environment applications. It sells its products to distributors, original equipment manufacturers, value-added resellers, and end-users. Optical Cable Corporation was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia.

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