KLX (NASDAQ: KLXI) and Crane (NYSE:CR) are both mid-cap industrials companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, risk, dividends and earnings.

Dividends

Crane pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. KLX does not pay a dividend. Crane pays out 46.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares KLX and Crane’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
KLX $1.53 billion 2.20 $48.20 million $1.51 44.28
Crane $2.79 billion 1.99 $171.80 million $2.84 32.88

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

Profitability

This table compares KLX and Crane’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
KLX 4.99% 5.14% 3.08%
Crane 6.17% 20.66% 7.72%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for KLX and Crane, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
KLX 0 3 2 0 2.40
Crane 0 3 9 0 2.75

KLX currently has a consensus target price of $65.00, suggesting a potential downside of 2.78%. Crane has a consensus target price of $106.59, suggesting a potential upside of 14.13%. Given Crane’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Crane is more favorable than KLX.

Volatility and Risk

KLX has a beta of 1.26, meaning that its stock price is 26% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Crane has a beta of 1.2, meaning that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

67.5% of Crane shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.8% of KLX shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.1% of Crane shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Crane beats KLX on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About KLX

KLX Inc. (KLX) is the distributor and service provider of aerospace fasteners and consumables. The Company offers ranges of aerospace hardware and consumables and inventory management services across the world. The Company operates through two segments: Aerospace Solutions Group (ASG) and Energy Services Group (ESG). The Company’s ASG segment service offerings include inventory management and replenishment, creative and differential supply chain solutions, such as third-party logistics programs, special packaging and bar-coding, parts kitting, quality assurance testing and a range of purchasing assistance programs, plus the electronic data interchange capability. The Company’s ESG segment products and services include onshore completion services, wireline services, fishing services and tools, down-hole completion and production services, pressure control, accommodations and related surface rental equipment, and remanufacturing shops.

About Crane

Crane Co. (Crane) is a manufacturer of engineered industrial products. The Company operates through four segments, including Fluid Handling, Payment & Merchandising Technologies, Aerospace & Electronics, and Engineered Materials. The Fluid Handling segment is a provider of engineered fluid handling equipment, including Process Valves and Related Products, Commercial Valves and Other Products. The Payment & Merchandising Technologies segment includes Crane Payment Innovations (CPI) and Merchandising Systems. The Aerospace & Electronics segment supplies various components and systems, including original equipment and aftermarket parts, primarily for the commercial aerospace and military aerospace, and defense markets. The Engineered Materials segment manufactures fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) panels and coils, primarily for use in the manufacturing of recreational vehicles (RVs), truck bodies, truck trailers, with additional applications in commercial and industrial buildings.

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