Sparton (NASDAQ: PLXS) and Plexus (NASDAQ:PLXS) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, valuation, dividends and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Sparton and Plexus’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sparton -2.53% 13.59% 4.63%
Plexus -1.11% 11.37% 5.56%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

65.2% of Sparton shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.4% of Plexus shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.5% of Sparton shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.7% of Plexus shares are owned by company 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

Sparton has a beta of 1.25, suggesting that its share price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Plexus has a beta of 0.73, suggesting that its share price is 27% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Sparton and Plexus’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sparton $397.56 million 0.30 $1.31 million N/A N/A
Plexus $2.53 billion 0.78 $112.06 million $3.24 18.84

Plexus has higher revenue and earnings than Sparton.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Sparton and Plexus, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sparton 0 0 0 0 N/A
Plexus 0 3 2 0 2.40

Plexus has a consensus price target of $64.75, indicating a potential upside of 6.08%. Given Plexus’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Plexus is more favorable than Sparton.

Summary

Plexus beats Sparton on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sparton Company Profile

Sparton Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides design, development, and manufacturing services for electromechanical devices; and engineered products in electromechanical value stream worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Manufacturing & Design Services (MDS), and Engineered Components & Products (ECP). The MDS segment is involved in the contract design, manufacture, and aftermarket repair and refurbishment of printed circuit card assemblies, sub-assemblies, full product assemblies, and cable/wire harnesses, as well as development of embedded software and software quality assurance services in connection with medical devices and diagnostic equipment. This segment serves original equipment manufacturers and emerging technology customers serving the medical and biotechnology, military and aerospace, and industrial and commercial markets. The ECP segment designs, develops, and produces proprietary products for domestic and foreign defense, and commercial applications. It offers anti-submarine warfare devices for the U.S. Navy and foreign governments; rugged flat panel display systems for military panel PC workstations, air traffic control and industrial, and commercial marine applications; and high performance industrial grade computer systems and peripherals, as well as develops and markets commercial products for underwater acoustics and microelectromechanical based inertial measurement. This segment also performs an engineering development function for the United States military and prime defense contractors. Sparton Corporation was founded in 1900 and is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Plexus Company Profile

Plexus Corp., together with its subsidiaries, provides electronic manufacturing services in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific. It offers product conceptualization solutions; and product design and value-engineering solutions, including program management, feasibility studies, specification development for product features and functionality, circuit design, field programmable gate array design, printed circuit board layout, embedded software design, mechanical design, test specifications development and product verification testing, and automated production solutions and complex automation design. The company also provides commercialization solutions, such as prototyping, new product introduction, design for supply chain, test development, and transition management; manufacturing solutions; and fulfillment and logistics solutions. In addition, it offers sustaining solutions, which include aftermarket services, such as screening, loaner program, part harvesting, in/out warranty repair, advanced exchange, part repair, upgrade, demo unit management, warranty redemption, refurbishment, recycling, part fulfillment, decontamination, destruction, part fulfillment with warranty redemption, complaint handling, and part sales. The company provides its solutions to companies in the networking/communications, healthcare/life sciences, industrial/commercial, and defense/security/aerospace sectors. Plexus Corp. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin.

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