MRV Communications (NASDAQ: MRVC) and KVH Industries (NASDAQ:KVHI) are both small-cap broadcasting equipment companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings and profitability.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares MRV Communications and KVH Industries’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MRV Communications N/A N/A N/A ($1.30) -7.68
KVH Industries $176.12 million 1.07 -$7.51 million ($1.00) -11.00

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

Profitability

This table compares MRV Communications and KVH Industries’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MRV Communications -10.63% -30.83% -13.90%
KVH Industries -9.77% -1.10% -0.59%

Risk and Volatility

MRV Communications has a beta of -1.88, suggesting that its share price is 288% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, KVH Industries has a beta of 0.8, suggesting that its share price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for MRV Communications and KVH Industries, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MRV Communications 0 0 1 0 3.00
KVH Industries 0 0 2 0 3.00

MRV Communications currently has a consensus price target of $14.00, suggesting a potential upside of 40.28%. KVH Industries has a consensus price target of $9.50, suggesting a potential downside of 13.64%. Given MRV Communications’ higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe MRV Communications is more favorable than KVH Industries.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

40.9% of MRV Communications shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.7% of KVH Industries shares are held by institutional investors. 5.5% of MRV Communications shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 9.7% of KVH Industries shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

KVH Industries beats MRV Communications on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

MRV Communications Company Profile

MRV Communications, Inc. (MRV) is a supplier of communications solutions to telecommunications service providers, enterprises and governments throughout the world. The Company’s products enable customers to provide high-bandwidth data, and video services and mobile communications services. The Company operates through Network Equipment segment. Its Network Equipment segment designs, manufactures, sells and services equipment used by commercial customers, governments and telecommunications service providers. Its products include switches, optical transport platforms, physical layer products and out-of-band management products, and specialized networking products. MRV markets and sells its products, through a range of channels, which include a direct sales force, manufacturers’ representatives, value-added-resellers, distributors and systems integrators. The Network Equipment business includes two business units: Optical Communications Systems division and Appointech, Inc.

KVH Industries Company Profile

KVH Industries, Inc. is a manufacturer of solutions that provide high-speed Internet, television and voice services through satellite to mobile users at sea and on land. The Company also provides commercially licensed entertainment, including news, sports, music and movies, to commercial and leisure customers in the maritime, hotel and retail markets. It operates in two geographic segments, in the mobile communications, navigation and guidance and stabilization equipment industry. The Company develops and distributes training films and e-learning computer-based training courses to commercial maritime customers. It is also a manufacturer of navigational sensors and integrated inertial systems for defense and commercial guidance and stabilization applications. It designs, develops, manufactures and markets mobile communications products and services for the marine and land mobile markets, and navigation, guidance and stabilization products for both the commercial and defense markets.

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