Avnet (NYSE: AVT) and Littelfuse (NASDAQ:LFUS) are both mid-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, risk and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

98.4% of Avnet shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.2% of Littelfuse shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of Avnet shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.8% of Littelfuse shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Avnet has a beta of 1.03, meaning that its share price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Littelfuse has a beta of 0.9, meaning that its share price is 10% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Avnet and Littelfuse’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Avnet 2.83% 9.24% 3.93%
Littelfuse 11.06% 18.47% 10.28%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Avnet and Littelfuse’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Avnet $26.28 billion 0.18 $990.42 million $4.17 9.25
Littelfuse $1.12 billion 3.30 $243.46 million $5.43 29.95

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Avnet and Littelfuse, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Avnet 3 5 0 1 1.89
Littelfuse 0 2 3 0 2.60

Avnet currently has a consensus target price of $41.50, indicating a potential upside of 7.54%. Littelfuse has a consensus target price of $153.67, indicating a potential downside of 5.52%. Given Avnet’s higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Avnet is more favorable than Littelfuse.

Dividends

Avnet pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Littelfuse pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Avnet pays out 17.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Littelfuse pays out 24.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Littelfuse has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Avnet is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

Littelfuse beats Avnet on 10 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Avnet

Avnet, Inc. is a distributor of electronic components, enterprise computer, networking and storage products and software, and embedded subsystems. The Company operates through Electronics Marketing (EM) segment. The EM segment markets and sells semiconductors; interconnect, passive and electromechanical devices (IP&E), and embedded products to a customer base serving various end markets. The Company creates a link in the technology supply chain that connects electronic component and computer product manufacturers and software developers with a customer base of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers, original design manufacturers (ODMs), systems integrators (SIs), independent software vendors (ISVs) and value-added resellers (VARs). The Company distributes electronic components, computer products and software, as received from its suppliers or through a customized solution, and offers assembly and other services.

About Littelfuse

Littelfuse, Inc. is a supplier of circuit protection products for the electronics, automotive and industrial markets. The Company operates through three segments. The Electronics segment provides circuit protection components for overcurrent and overvoltage protection, as well as sensor components and modules to manufacturers of a range of electronic products. The Automotive segment provides circuit protection and sensor products to the worldwide automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and parts distributors of passenger automobiles, trucks, buses, and off-road equipment. The Industrial Segment provides circuit protection products for industrial and commercial customers. The Company also offers electronic reed switches and sensors, automotive sensors for comfort and safety systems and a range of electromechanical and electronic switch and control devices for commercial and specialty vehicles.

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