FLIR Systems (NASDAQ: FLIR) and Wesco Aircraft (NYSE:WAIR) are both aerospace companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, risk, earnings, profitability, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

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FLIR Systems pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Wesco Aircraft does not pay a dividend. FLIR Systems pays out 82.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.9% of FLIR Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.5% of Wesco Aircraft shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of FLIR Systems shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.9% of Wesco Aircraft shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for FLIR Systems and Wesco Aircraft, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
FLIR Systems 0 2 3 1 2.83
Wesco Aircraft 0 5 1 0 2.17

FLIR Systems currently has a consensus price target of $51.17, indicating a potential upside of 1.80%. Wesco Aircraft has a consensus price target of $8.88, indicating a potential downside of 13.41%. Given FLIR Systems’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe FLIR Systems is more favorable than Wesco Aircraft.

Profitability

This table compares FLIR Systems and Wesco Aircraft’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
FLIR Systems 5.96% 14.54% 9.63%
Wesco Aircraft -17.26% 7.42% 2.96%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares FLIR Systems and Wesco Aircraft’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
FLIR Systems $1.80 billion 3.88 $107.22 million $0.78 64.44
Wesco Aircraft $1.43 billion 0.71 -$237.34 million ($2.53) -4.05

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

Volatility & Risk

FLIR Systems has a beta of 0.68, suggesting that its stock price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Wesco Aircraft has a beta of 0.28, suggesting that its stock price is 72% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

FLIR Systems beats Wesco Aircraft on 15 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

FLIR Systems Company Profile

FLIR Systems, Inc. (FLIR) designs, develops, markets and distributes thermal imaging systems, visible-light imaging systems, locater systems, measurement and diagnostic systems and threat-detection solutions. The Company’s segments include Surveillance, Instruments, Security, OEM & Emerging Markets, Maritime and Detection. Its Surveillance segment provides enhanced imaging and recognition solutions. Its Instruments segment provides devices that image, measure and assess thermal energy, gases and other environmental elements for industrial, commercial, and scientific applications under the FLIR and Extech brands. Its OEM & Emerging Markets segment provides thermal imaging camera cores and components. Its Maritime segment develops and manufactures electronics and imaging instruments. Its Security segment develops and manufactures a range of cameras and video recording systems. The Detection segment offers sensors, instruments and integrated platform solutions.

Wesco Aircraft Company Profile

Wesco Aircraft Holdings, Inc. is a distributor and provider of supply chain management services to the global aerospace industry. The Company operates through two segments: North America and Rest of World. As of September 30, 2016, the Company supplied over 565,000 active stock-keeping units (SKUs), including C-class hardware, chemicals, electronic components, bearings, tools and machined parts. The Company’s products include Hardware, Chemicals, Electronic Components, Bearings and Other Products. Its Services include Quality Assurance, Kitting and JIT Supply Chain Management. It caters to commercial, military and general aviation sectors, including the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their subcontractors, through which it supports various Western aircraft programs, and also sells products to airline-affiliated and independent maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers. It also services industrial customers.

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