Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO) and Elbit Systems (NASDAQ:ESLT) are both aerospace companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation and profitability.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

64.7% of Astronics Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 11.1% of Elbit Systems shares are held by institutional investors. 16.5% of Astronics Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.8% of Elbit Systems shares are held by company 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 recent recommendations for Astronics Corporation and Elbit Systems, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Astronics Corporation 0 1 1 0 2.50
Elbit Systems 0 1 0 0 2.00

Astronics Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $34.50, indicating a potential upside of 31.88%. Elbit Systems has a consensus target price of $110.00, indicating a potential downside of 20.22%. Given Astronics Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Astronics Corporation is more favorable than Elbit Systems.

Dividends

Elbit Systems pays an annual dividend of $1.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Astronics Corporation does not pay a dividend. Elbit Systems pays out 31.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility & Risk

Astronics Corporation has a beta of 1.17, meaning that its share price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Elbit Systems has a beta of 0.61, meaning that its share price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Astronics Corporation and Elbit Systems’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Astronics Corporation $612.68 million 1.23 $86.53 million $1.38 18.96
Elbit Systems $3.30 billion 1.79 $408.99 million $5.58 24.71

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

Profitability

This table compares Astronics Corporation and Elbit Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Astronics Corporation 6.73% 12.12% 6.72%
Elbit Systems 7.23% 16.38% 5.88%

Astronics Corporation Company Profile

Astronics Corporation is a supplier of products to the aerospace, defense, electronics and semiconductor industries. The Company’s products and services include electrical power generation, distribution and motion systems, lighting and safety systems, avionics products, aircraft structures, systems certification and automated test systems. The Company operates through two segments: Aerospace and Test Systems. The Aerospace segment designs and manufactures products for the global aerospace industry. Its product lines include lighting and safety systems, electrical power generation, distribution and motions systems, aircraft structures, avionics products, systems certification and other products. The Test Systems segment designs, develops, manufactures and maintains automated test systems that support the semiconductor, aerospace, communications and weapons test systems, as well as training and simulation devices for both commercial and military applications.

Elbit Systems Company Profile

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international technology company engaged in a range of programs across the world. The Company develops and supplies a portfolio of airborne, land and naval systems and products for defense, homeland security and commercial aviation applications. Its systems and products are installed on new platforms, and it also performs platform modernization programs. In addition, it provides a range of support services. The Company’s activities include military aircraft and helicopter systems; helmet mounted systems; commercial aviation systems and aerostructures; unmanned aircraft and unmanned surface vessels; land vehicle systems; command, control, communications, computer and intelligence (C4I) systems; intelligence and cyber systems; electro-optic and countermeasures systems; electronic warfare and signal intelligence systems, and various commercial activities. It operates primarily in the defense and homeland security arenas.

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