Bel Fuse (NASDAQ: BELFB) and Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ:MXWL) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Bel Fuse and Maxwell Technologies’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Bel Fuse $492.63 million 0.76 $46.37 million $1.36 22.94
Maxwell Technologies $115.70 million 1.58 -$19.60 million ($1.19) -4.31

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Bel Fuse and Maxwell Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Bel Fuse 0 1 1 0 2.50
Maxwell Technologies 0 3 2 0 2.40

Bel Fuse presently has a consensus target price of $39.00, suggesting a potential upside of 25.00%. Maxwell Technologies has a consensus target price of $7.00, suggesting a potential upside of 36.45%. Given Maxwell Technologies’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Maxwell Technologies is more favorable than Bel Fuse.

Dividends

Bel Fuse pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Maxwell Technologies does not pay a dividend. Bel Fuse pays out 20.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility and Risk

Bel Fuse has a beta of 0.84, suggesting that its stock price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Maxwell Technologies has a beta of 0.36, suggesting that its stock price is 64% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Bel Fuse and Maxwell Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Bel Fuse 3.44% 11.61% 4.38%
Maxwell Technologies -34.18% -30.83% -21.80%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

59.3% of Bel Fuse shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.8% of Maxwell Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.8% of Bel Fuse shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of Maxwell Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Bel Fuse beats Maxwell Technologies on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Bel Fuse

Bel Fuse Inc. (Bel) designs, manufactures and markets a range of products that power, protect and connect electronic circuits. The Company’s products include magnetic solutions, power solutions and protection, and connectivity solutions. The Company’s operating segments are North America, Asia and Europe. The Company markets magnetic solutions under the brand names, including Bel, TRP, MagJack and Signal. The Company markets power solutions and protection under the brand names, which include Bel Power Solutions, Power-One and Melcher. The Company markets connectivity solutions under the brand names Stratos, Fibreco, Cinch, Johnson, Trompeter, Midwest Microwave, Semflex and Stewart Connector. The Company’s products are used in the networking, telecommunications, computing, military, aerospace, transportation and broadcasting industries. Bel’s portfolio of products has application in the automotive, medical and consumer electronics markets.

About Maxwell Technologies

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets energy storage and power delivery products for transportation, industrial, information technology and other applications and microelectronic products for space and satellite applications. The Company offers three product lines: Ultracapacitors, High-Voltage Capacitors and Radiation-Hardened Microelectronic Products. The Company’s ultracapacitor cells and multi-cell packs, and modules provide energy storage and power delivery solutions for applications in multiple industries. The Company offers ultracapacitor cells with capacitances ranging from 1 to 3,400 farads. It designs and manufactures CONDIS high-voltage capacitors. These products include grading and coupling capacitors and electric voltage transformers. The Company’s radiation-hardened microelectronic products for satellites and spacecraft include single board computers and components, such as high-density memory and data conversion modules.

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