Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ: LRCX) and Nanometrics (NASDAQ:NANO) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

94.7% of Lam Research Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 81.4% of Nanometrics shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of Lam Research Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.7% of Nanometrics shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Lam Research Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Nanometrics does not pay a dividend. Lam Research Corporation pays out 16.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility and Risk

Lam Research Corporation has a beta of 1.63, indicating that its stock price is 63% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nanometrics has a beta of 1.81, indicating that its stock price is 81% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Lam Research Corporation and Nanometrics, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lam Research Corporation 0 2 17 0 2.89
Nanometrics 0 0 3 0 3.00

Lam Research Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $210.44, indicating a potential upside of 1.63%. Nanometrics has a consensus target price of $31.67, indicating a potential upside of 12.81%. Given Nanometrics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Nanometrics is more favorable than Lam Research Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Lam Research Corporation and Nanometrics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lam Research Corporation 22.85% 30.19% 17.58%
Nanometrics 19.23% 10.46% 8.83%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Lam Research Corporation and Nanometrics’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lam Research Corporation $8.01 billion 4.18 $1.70 billion $10.94 18.93
Nanometrics $221.13 million 3.24 $44.03 million $1.79 15.68

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

Summary

Lam Research Corporation beats Nanometrics on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lam Research Corporation Company Profile

Lam Research Corporation is a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. The Company designs, manufactures, markets, refurbishes and services semiconductor processing systems that are used in the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs). It operates through manufacturing and servicing of wafer processing semiconductor manufacturing equipment segment. Its products are designed to enable its customers build a range of devices that are used in a range of electronic products, including cell phones, tablets, computers, storage devices, and networking equipment. Its customer base includes semiconductor memory, foundry, and integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) that make products, such as dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), negative-AND (NAND) memory and logic devices. It offers a portfolio of products that are used in several areas of the semiconductor manufacturing process flow, including thin film deposition, plasma etch and single-wafer clean.

Nanometrics Company Profile

Nanometrics Incorporated is a provider of process control metrology and inspection systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors and other solid-state devices, including sensors, optoelectronic devices, high-brightness (HB) light emitting diodes (LEDs), discretes and data storages components. The Company’s automated and integrated metrology systems measure critical dimensions, device structures, topography and various thin film properties, including three-dimensional features and film thickness, as well as optical, electrical and material properties. The Company’s process control solutions are deployed throughout the fabrication process, from front-end-of-line substrate manufacturing, to production of semiconductors and other devices, to three-dimensional wafer-level packaging applications. The Company’s automated systems primarily consist of automated metrology systems that are employed in semiconductor production environments.

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