Spirit Aerosystems Holdings (NYSE: SPR) and Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) are both mid-cap aerospace companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, risk, institutional ownership and profitabiliy.

Profitability

This table compares Spirit Aerosystems Holdings and Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Spirit Aerosystems Holdings 6.46% 28.51% 10.05%
Curtiss-Wright Corporation 8.79% 14.30% 6.15%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Spirit Aerosystems Holdings and Curtiss-Wright Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Spirit Aerosystems Holdings 2 7 5 0 2.21
Curtiss-Wright Corporation 0 3 2 0 2.40

Spirit Aerosystems Holdings currently has a consensus target price of $63.82, indicating a potential upside of 5.64%. Curtiss-Wright Corporation has a consensus target price of $103.25, indicating a potential upside of 10.55%. Given Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Curtiss-Wright Corporation is more favorable than Spirit Aerosystems Holdings.

Volatility and Risk

Spirit Aerosystems Holdings has a beta of 1.36, suggesting that its share price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Curtiss-Wright Corporation has a beta of 1.24, suggesting that its share price is 24% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Spirit Aerosystems Holdings pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Curtiss-Wright Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. Spirit Aerosystems Holdings pays out 11.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Curtiss-Wright Corporation pays out 12.5% 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. Curtiss-Wright Corporation has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Spirit Aerosystems Holdings is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

98.7% of Spirit Aerosystems Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.8% of Curtiss-Wright Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.3% of Spirit Aerosystems Holdings shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Curtiss-Wright Corporation shares are owned by 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.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Spirit Aerosystems Holdings and Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Spirit Aerosystems Holdings $6.81 billion 1.07 $915.60 million $3.57 16.92
Curtiss-Wright Corporation $2.13 billion 1.94 $398.51 million $4.16 22.45

Spirit Aerosystems Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Spirit Aerosystems Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Curtiss-Wright Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Spirit Aerosystems Holdings beats Curtiss-Wright Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Spirit Aerosystems Holdings

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. is a non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM), aircraft parts designer and manufacturer of commercial aero-structures. The Company is also a supplier of aero-structures. The Company operates through three segments: Fuselage Systems, Propulsion Systems and Wing Systems. The Fuselage Systems segment includes the development, production and marketing of forward, mid and rear fuselage sections and systems. The Propulsion Systems segment includes the development, production and marketing of struts/pylons, nacelles (including thrust reversers) and related engine structural components. The Wing Systems segment includes the development, production and marketing of wings and wing components (including flight control surfaces), and other miscellaneous structural parts. The Company’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services include repair stations that provide complete on-site repair and overhaul.

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a manufacturing and service company that designs, manufactures, and overhauls precision components and provides engineered products and services to the aerospace, defense, power generation and general industrial markets. The Company operates through three segments: Commercial/Industrial, Defense and Power. The Commercial/Industrial segment’s products include electronic throttle control devices and transmission shifters, electro-mechanical actuation control components, valves, and surface technology services. The Defense segment’s products include commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) embedded computing board level modules, turret aiming and stabilization products, weapons handling systems, avionics and electronics, flight test equipment, and aircraft data management solutions. The Power segment’s products include a range of hardware, pumps, valves, fastening systems, specialized containment doors, airlock hatches and spent fuel management products.

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