Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) and Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) are both large-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability and earnings.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

90.6% of Boston Scientific shares are held by institutional investors. 0.7% of Boston Scientific shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Agilent Technologies has a beta of 1.27, indicating that its stock price is 27% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Boston Scientific has a beta of 0.95, indicating that its stock price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Agilent Technologies and Boston Scientific, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Agilent Technologies 0 3 9 0 2.75
Boston Scientific 0 3 13 1 2.88

Agilent Technologies presently has a consensus price target of $69.23, suggesting a potential upside of 3.82%. Boston Scientific has a consensus price target of $30.90, suggesting a potential upside of 20.19%. Given Boston Scientific’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Boston Scientific is more favorable than Agilent Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares Agilent Technologies and Boston Scientific’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Agilent Technologies 15.30% 16.96% 9.43%
Boston Scientific 9.55% 23.60% 9.24%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Agilent Technologies and Boston Scientific’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Agilent Technologies $4.47 billion 4.80 $684.00 million $2.10 31.75
Boston Scientific $8.39 billion 4.21 $347.00 million $0.61 42.15

Agilent Technologies has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Boston Scientific. Agilent Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Boston Scientific, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Agilent Technologies pays an annual dividend of $0.53 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Boston Scientific does not pay a dividend. Agilent Technologies pays out 25.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

Boston Scientific beats Agilent Technologies on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies, Inc. provides application focused solutions that include instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The Company serves the life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets. It has three business segments: life sciences and applied markets business, diagnostics and genomics business, and Agilent CrossLab business. Its life sciences and applied markets business segment offers instruments and software that enable customers to identify, quantify and analyze the physical and biological properties of substances and products, as well as enable customers in the clinical and life sciences research areas to interrogate samples at the molecular level. Its diagnostics and genomics business segment includes the reagent partnership, pathology, companion diagnostics, genomics and the nucleic acid solutions businesses. Its Agilent CrossLab business segment spans the entire lab with its consumables and services portfolio.

About Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific Corporation is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices that are used in a range of interventional medical specialties. The Company offers its products by seven businesses: Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Rhythm Management, Endoscopy, Peripheral Interventions, Urology and Pelvic Health, Neuromodulation, and Electrophysiology. It operates in three segments: Cardiovascular, Rhythm Management and MedSurg. Its Cardiovascular segment consists of Interventional Cardiology and Peripheral Interventions businesses. Rhythm Management consists of Cardiac Rhythm Management and Electrophysiology businesses. MedSurg consists of Endoscopy, Urology and Pelvic Health, and Neuromodulation businesses. Its Interventional Cardiology product offerings include balloon catheters, rotational atherectomy systems, guide wires, guide catheters and embolic protection devices and diagnostic catheters used in percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) procedures.

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