Chart Industries (NASDAQ: GTLS) and Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, risk, dividends, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Badger Meter pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Chart Industries does not pay a dividend. Badger Meter pays out 44.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Badger Meter has increased its dividend for 15 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

Chart Industries has a beta of 1.28, indicating that its share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Badger Meter has a beta of 0.56, indicating that its share price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Chart Industries and Badger Meter’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Chart Industries 1.35% 3.28% 1.89%
Badger Meter 8.67% 13.19% 9.52%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Chart Industries and Badger Meter’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Chart Industries $860.61 million 1.45 $68.59 million $0.37 109.62
Badger Meter $395.15 million 3.69 $77.75 million $1.17 42.86

Badger Meter has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Chart Industries. Badger Meter is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Chart Industries, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Chart Industries and Badger Meter, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Chart Industries 0 6 3 0 2.33
Badger Meter 0 3 1 0 2.25

Chart Industries presently has a consensus price target of $41.50, suggesting a potential upside of 2.32%. Badger Meter has a consensus price target of $49.33, suggesting a potential downside of 1.63%. Given Chart Industries’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Chart Industries is more favorable than Badger Meter.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

85.9% of Chart Industries shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.0% of Badger Meter shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.1% of Chart Industries shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.5% of Badger Meter shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Badger Meter beats Chart Industries on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Chart Industries

Chart Industries, Inc. is a diversified global manufacturer of engineered equipment, packaged solutions, and value-add services used throughout the industrial gas, energy and biomedical industries. The Company operates through three business segments: Energy & Chemicals (E&C), Distribution & Storage (D&S) and BioMedical. The E&C and D&S segments manufacture products used in energy-related and industrial applications, such as the separation, liquefaction, distribution and storage of hydrocarbon and industrial gases. Through the BioMedical segment, it manufactures and supplies medical devices, including cryogenic and non-cryogenic equipment, used in respiratory healthcare. The Company also manufactures and supplies products for life sciences, including biological research and animal breeding. Applications in the BioMedical segment include Respiratory Therapy, Life Sciences, Commercial Oxygen and Nitrogen Generation.

About Badger Meter

Badger Meter, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of products incorporating flow measurement, control and communication solutions, serving water utilities, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers around the world. The Company’s products measure water, oil, chemicals and other fluids, provide and communicate timely measurement data. Its product lines include two categories: sales of water meters and related technologies to municipal water utilities (municipal water), and sales of meters to various industries for water and other fluids (flow instrumentation). The municipal water offering includes mechanical and ultrasonic (electronic) water meters and related technologies and services used by water utilities as the basis for generating water and wastewater. The flow instrumentation category includes the sale of meters and valves around the world to measure and control materials flowing through a pipe or pipeline, including air, steam, oil, and other liquids and gases.

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