MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS (NYSE: MWA) and SPX FLOW (NYSE:FLOW) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk and profitability.

Dividends

MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. SPX FLOW does not pay a dividend. MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS pays out 20.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. SPX FLOW has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Volatility & Risk

MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS has a beta of 1.37, meaning that its share price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, SPX FLOW has a beta of 2.68, meaning that its share price is 168% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS and SPX FLOW’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS $1.15 billion 1.59 $184.20 million $0.80 14.44
SPX FLOW $1.89 billion 0.73 $190.40 million $0.11 295.03

SPX FLOW has higher revenue and earnings than MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS. MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than SPX FLOW, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS and SPX FLOW’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS 14.47% 16.85% 5.96%
SPX FLOW 0.26% 5.87% 1.76%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS and SPX FLOW, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS 0 0 6 0 3.00
SPX FLOW 1 1 2 0 2.25

MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS currently has a consensus price target of $14.20, indicating a potential upside of 22.94%. SPX FLOW has a consensus price target of $32.67, indicating a potential upside of 0.67%. Given MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS is more favorable than SPX FLOW.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

84.7% of MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.2% of SPX FLOW shares are held by institutional investors. 4.3% of MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.0% of SPX FLOW shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS beats SPX FLOW on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About MUELLER WATER PRODUCTS

Mueller Water Products, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of products and services used in the transmission, distribution and measurement of water in North America. The Company operates through three segments: Mueller Co., Anvil and Mueller Technologies. The Mueller Co. segment manufactures valves for water and gas systems, and dry-barrel and wet-barrel fire hydrants. The Anvil segment manufactures and sources a range of products, including a range of fittings, couplings, hangers and related products. The Mueller Technologies segment offers metering systems, leak detection, pipe condition assessment and other products and services for the water infrastructure industry. The Mueller Technologies segment includes Mueller Systems and Echologics businesses. The Company offers a range of water infrastructure, flow control and piping component system products and services in the United States and Canada.

About SPX FLOW

SPX FLOW, Inc. is a global supplier of engineered solutions. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had operations in over 30 countries and sales in over 150 countries around the world. The Company operates in three business segments: Food and Beverage, Power and Energy, and Industrial. Its product portfolio of pumps, valves, mixers, filters, air dryers, hydraulic tools, homogenizers, separators and heat exchangers, along with the related aftermarket parts and services, supports global industries, including food and beverage, oil and gas, power generation, chemical processing, compressed air and mining. The Food and Beverage segment’s products include mixing, drying, evaporation and separation systems and components, heat exchangers, and reciprocating and centrifugal pump technologies. Its products in the Power and Energy segment include pumps, valves and the related accessories. Its products in the Industrial segment are filtration equipment, hydraulic technologies and heat exchangers.

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