Amtech Systems (NASDAQ: ASYS) and Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation and dividends.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Amtech Systems and Veeco Instruments’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Amtech Systems $164.52 million 0.81 $9.13 million $0.68 13.13
Veeco Instruments $484.76 million 1.66 -$44.79 million ($0.02) -827.50

Amtech Systems has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Veeco Instruments. Veeco Instruments is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Amtech Systems, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

66.5% of Amtech Systems shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.5% of Veeco Instruments shares are held by institutional investors. 20.6% of Amtech Systems shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.6% of Veeco Instruments shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Amtech Systems and Veeco Instruments’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Amtech Systems 9.52% 22.08% 11.63%
Veeco Instruments -11.24% 0.51% 0.31%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Amtech Systems and Veeco Instruments, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Amtech Systems 0 0 3 0 3.00
Veeco Instruments 0 2 5 0 2.71

Amtech Systems presently has a consensus price target of $14.50, indicating a potential upside of 62.37%. Veeco Instruments has a consensus price target of $28.67, indicating a potential upside of 73.21%. Given Veeco Instruments’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Veeco Instruments is more favorable than Amtech Systems.

Risk & Volatility

Amtech Systems has a beta of 2.05, meaning that its stock price is 105% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Veeco Instruments has a beta of 0.58, meaning that its stock price is 42% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Amtech Systems beats Veeco Instruments on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Amtech Systems Company Profile

Amtech Systems, Inc. manufactures and sells capital equipment and related consumables for use in fabricating solar cells, LED, and semiconductor devices in the United States, Asia, Europe, and internationally. It operates through Solar, Semiconductor, and Polishing segments. The Solar segment supplies thermal processing systems, including diffusion, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, and atomic layer deposition systems; and automation equipment comprising mass wafer transfer systems, sorters, long-boat transfer systems, load station elevators, buffers, and conveyers, as well as related parts and services. The Semiconductor segment designs, manufactures, sells, and services thermal processing equipment, including solder reflow equipment and related controls for use by various semiconductor manufacturers, as well as in electronics assembly for automotive and other industries. Its products include horizontal and vertical diffusion furnaces used to produce semiconductors, silicon wafers, and microelectromechanical systems, as well as lapping equipment, polishing templates and wafer insert carriers, mass wafer transfer systems, loaders, and sorters. The Polishing segment provides silicon wafers for semiconductor products; sapphire substrates for LED lighting and mobile devices; silicon carbide wafers for LED and power device applications; various glass and silica components for 3D image transmission; quartz and ceramic components for telecommunications devices; and medical device components and computer hard disks under the PR Hoffman brand name. The company sells its products through sales personnel, as well as a network of independent sales representatives and distributors. The company was formerly known as Quartz Engineering & Materials, Inc. and changed its name to Amtech Systems, Inc. in 1987. Amtech Systems, Inc. was founded in 1981 and is based in Tempe, Arizona.

Veeco Instruments Company Profile

Veeco Instruments Inc., together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, sells, and supports semiconductor process equipment worldwide. It offers metal organic chemical vapor deposition systems; packaging lithography equipment; precision surface processing systems; laser annealing systems; ion beam etch and deposition systems; molecular beam epitaxy systems; 3D wafer inspection systems; and atomic layer deposition and other deposition systems. The company sells its products to light emitting diode, micro-electro mechanical system, outsourced semiconductor assembly and test, HDD, and semiconductor manufacturers, as well as research centers and universities. Veeco Instruments Inc. was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Plainview, New York.

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