Kadant (NYSE: KAI) and Albany International Corporation (NYSE:AIN) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Kadant and Albany International Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Kadant 0 1 2 0 2.67
Albany International Corporation 0 1 0 0 2.00

Kadant currently has a consensus price target of $94.00, indicating a potential downside of 11.24%. Albany International Corporation has a consensus price target of $52.00, indicating a potential downside of 13.19%. Given Kadant’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Kadant is more favorable than Albany International Corporation.

Risk & Volatility

Kadant has a beta of 1.43, suggesting that its stock price is 43% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Albany International Corporation has a beta of 1.72, suggesting that its stock price is 72% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Kadant pays an annual dividend of $0.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Albany International Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Kadant pays out 24.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Albany International Corporation pays out 51.1% 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. Kadant has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years and Albany International Corporation has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Albany International Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

91.3% of Kadant shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.2% of Albany International Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.6% of Kadant shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.6% of Albany International Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Kadant and Albany International Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Kadant 8.17% 15.26% 9.22%
Albany International Corporation 5.06% 9.24% 3.83%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Kadant and Albany International Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Kadant $414.13 million 2.81 $32.07 million $3.38 31.33
Albany International Corporation $779.84 million 2.47 $52.73 million $1.33 45.04

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

Summary

Kadant beats Albany International Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Kadant

Kadant Inc. is a supplier of equipment and components used in process industries. In addition, the Company manufactures granules made from papermaking by-products. Its segments include Papermaking Systems and Wood Processing Systems. The Company has a customer base, which includes paper and oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturers. Papermaking Systems segment is engaged in developing, manufacturing, and marketing equipment for the global papermaking and paper recycling industries. Its Papermaking Systems segment consists of product lines, including Stock-Preparation; Doctoring, Cleaning, & Filtration, and Fluid-Handling. The Company develops, manufactures and markets stranders and related equipment used in the production of OSB.

About Albany International Corporation

Albany International Corp. is focused on textiles and materials processing business. The Company operates through two segments: Machine Clothing and Albany Engineered Composites. The Company’s Machine Clothing segment supplies permeable and impermeable belts used in the manufacture of paper, paperboard, nonwovens, fiber cement and various other industrial applications. The Machine Clothing segment also supplies customized, consumable fabrics used in the manufacturing process in the pulp, corrugator, nonwovens, fiber cement, building products, and tannery and textile industries. Its Albany Engineered Composites segment includes Albany Safran Composites, LLC (ASC), in which its customer SAFRAN Group owns interest and provides engineered composite structures based on its technology to customers in the aerospace and defense industries.

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