Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) and Belden (NYSE:BDC) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, valuation and profitability.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

99.1% of Harmonic shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.3% of Harmonic shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of Belden shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Harmonic and Belden’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Harmonic -21.58% -13.22% -6.31%
Belden 5.53% 16.31% 6.21%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Harmonic and Belden’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Harmonic $379.77 million 0.65 -$18.46 million ($1.03) -2.96
Belden $2.38 billion 1.41 $441.71 million $2.31 34.32

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

Dividends

Belden pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Harmonic does not pay a dividend. Belden pays out 8.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility and Risk

Harmonic has a beta of 0.96, suggesting that its stock price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Belden has a beta of 2.27, suggesting that its stock price is 127% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Harmonic and Belden, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Harmonic 0 2 1 0 2.33
Belden 0 3 6 0 2.67

Harmonic currently has a consensus target price of $5.50, suggesting a potential upside of 80.33%. Belden has a consensus target price of $85.86, suggesting a potential upside of 8.30%. Given Harmonic’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Harmonic is more favorable than Belden.

Summary

Belden beats Harmonic on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Harmonic

Harmonic Inc. (Harmonic) designs, manufactures and sells video infrastructure products, and system solutions. The Company has two segments: Video and Cable Edge. Harmonic provides technical support and professional services to its customers around the world. The Video segment sells video processing and production, and playout solutions and services to broadcast and media companies, streaming media companies, cable operators, and satellite and telecommunications (telco), and pay television (TV) service providers. Its Cable Edge business sells cable edge solutions and related services to cable operators around the world. The Video segment offers a range of products and solutions, as well as software-based media processing platforms. The Company’s Narrowcast Services Gateway (NSG) products are integrated edge gateway products that integrate routing, multiplexing, scrambling and modulation into a single package for the delivery of narrowcast services to subscribers over cable networks.

About Belden

Belden Inc. is a signal transmission solutions provider company. The Company operates through five segment: Broadcast Solutions (Broadcast), Enterprise Connectivity Solutions (Enterprise), Industrial Connectivity Solutions (Industrial Connectivity), Industrial IT Solutions (Industrial IT), and Network Security Solutions (Network Security). The segments design, manufacture, and market a portfolio of signal transmission solutions for applications used in a variety of end markets, including broadcast, enterprise, and industrial. The Company’s portfolio of signal transmission solutions provides transmission of data, sound, and video for various applications. The Company’s sells its products to distributors, end users, installers, and to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Company has manufacturing facilities in the United States, other manufacturing and operating facilities in Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, and St. Kitts, as well as in various countries in Europe.

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