General Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC) and American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, valuation, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for General Cable Corporation and American Superconductor Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
General Cable Corporation 0 2 0 0 2.00
American Superconductor Corporation 0 1 5 0 2.83

American Superconductor Corporation has a consensus target price of $7.33, indicating a potential upside of 89.49%. Given American Superconductor Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe American Superconductor Corporation is more favorable than General Cable Corporation.

Volatility and Risk

General Cable Corporation has a beta of 2.82, suggesting that its share price is 182% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Superconductor Corporation has a beta of 1.14, suggesting that its share price is 14% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares General Cable Corporation and American Superconductor Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
General Cable Corporation $3.70 billion 0.23 $209.90 million ($3.57) -4.75
American Superconductor Corporation $70.77 million 1.05 -$21.56 million ($2.14) -1.81

General Cable Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than American Superconductor Corporation. General Cable Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than American Superconductor Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

98.9% of General Cable Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 35.2% of American Superconductor Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.8% of General Cable Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.6% of American Superconductor Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares General Cable Corporation and American Superconductor Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
General Cable Corporation -4.80% 13.47% 1.10%
American Superconductor Corporation -45.60% -54.39% -32.07%

Dividends

General Cable Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.2%. American Superconductor Corporation does not pay a dividend. General Cable Corporation pays out -20.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

General Cable Corporation beats American Superconductor Corporation on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About General Cable Corporation

General Cable Corporation is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for use in the energy, industrial, construction, specialty and communications markets. The Company’s segments include North America, Europe, Latin America, and Africa/Asia Pacific. The Company produces and sells to a range of end markets, including markets for electric utility, electrical infrastructure, communications, construction and rod mill products. As of December 31, 2016, the North America segment included 17 manufacturing facilities across the region. The Europe segment consists of six manufacturing facilities across the region. The Latin America segment consists of six manufacturing facilities across the region. The Africa/Asia Pacific segment consists of four manufacturing facilities across the segment.

About American Superconductor Corporation

American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) is a provider of megawatt-scale solutions. The Company operates through two segments: Wind and Grid. Through the Company’s Windtec Solutions brand, the Wind business segment enables manufacturers to field wind turbines. Through the Company’s Gridtec Solutions, the Grid business segment enables electric utilities and renewable energy project developers to connect, transmit and distribute power. AMSC supplies power electronics and control systems, licenses its engineered wind turbine designs and provides customer support services to wind turbine manufacturers. The Company provides a range of power electronics and software-based control systems. AMSC provides transmission planning services that enable it to identify power grid congestion and other risks. The Company also sells grid interconnection solutions for wind farms and solar power plants, power quality systems, and transmission and distribution cable systems.

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