Forescout Technologies (NASDAQ:FSCT) and AstroNova (NASDAQ:ALOT) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, valuation, risk and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

57.1% of Forescout Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 57.1% of AstroNova shares are held by institutional investors. 36.2% of Forescout Technologies shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.4% of AstroNova shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Forescout Technologies and AstroNova’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Forescout Technologies $220.87 million 5.06 -$91.20 million ($7.93) -3.29
AstroNova $113.40 million 1.16 $3.28 million $0.63 30.14

AstroNova has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Forescout Technologies. Forescout Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than AstroNova, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

AstroNova pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Forescout Technologies does not pay a dividend. AstroNova pays out 44.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Forescout Technologies and AstroNova’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Forescout Technologies -33.43% -89.81% -27.75%
AstroNova 3.20% 8.08% 4.41%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Forescout Technologies and AstroNova, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Forescout Technologies 0 2 9 0 2.82
AstroNova 0 0 1 0 3.00

Forescout Technologies currently has a consensus price target of $39.60, suggesting a potential upside of 51.90%. Given Forescout Technologies’ higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Forescout Technologies is more favorable than AstroNova.

Summary

AstroNova beats Forescout Technologies on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Forescout Technologies

ForeScout Technologies, Inc. provides network security products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and Japan. It offers ForeScout CounterACT agentless technology that discovers, classifies, and assesses IP-based devices; ForeScout extended modules, which represent integrations across vulnerability assessment, advanced threat detection, security incidence and event management, enterprise mobility management, endpoint protection and endpoint detection and response, next generation firewall, privileged access management, and IT systems management vendors, as well as compliance; and ForeScout CounterACT Enterprise Manager, a centralized security management solution for the control of various appliances deployed on an end-customer network, as well as maintenance and professional services. The company's products are used to protect organizations against the threats that exploit the billions of Internet of things devices connected to organizations' networks. ForeScout Technologies, Inc. sells its products and services through distributors and resellers. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

About AstroNova

AstroNova, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes specialty printers, and data acquisition and analysis systems in the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Product Identification and Test & Measurement (T&M). The Product Identification segment offers tabletop and work cell-ready digital color label printers; specialty OEM printing systems; and labels, tags, inks, toner, and thermal transfer ribbons under the QuickLabel brand. This segment also offers T2-C, an inkjet table top label press; T2, a parent of the T2-C; T4 for print, die cut, and lamination; and T3, a customizable label production and finishing press under the TrojanLabel brand. In addition, this segment sells various specialized software used to operate the printers and presses, design labels, and manage printing on an automated basis. It serves chemicals, cosmetics, food and beverage, medical products, pharmaceuticals, and other industries, as well as brand owners, label converters, commercial printers, and packaging manufacturers. The T&M segment offers visual data from local and networked data streams and sensors; a range of hardware and software products under the AstroNova T&M brand; Daxus portable data acquisition systems; TMX high-speed data acquisition systems; DDX100 SmartCorder portable data acquisition systems; EV-500, a digital strip chart recording system; PTA-45B cockpit printers; and ToughWriter, Miltope, and RITEC branded airborne printers. Its AstroNova airborne printers are used in flight decks, as well as military, commercial, and business aircraft cabins; and ToughSwitch Ethernet switches used in military aircraft and vehicles. The company was formerly known as Astro-Med, Inc. and changed its name to AstroNova, Inc. in May 2016. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

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