Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) and Materialise NV (NASDAQ:MTLS) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, earnings, risk and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Stratasys and Materialise NV’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Stratasys -8.33% 0.29% 0.24%
Materialise NV -0.99% -1.59% -0.76%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Stratasys and Materialise NV, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Stratasys 5 9 4 0 1.94
Materialise NV 0 0 4 0 3.00

Stratasys presently has a consensus price target of $24.21, indicating a potential upside of 10.62%. Materialise NV has a consensus price target of $13.13, indicating a potential upside of 2.30%. Given Stratasys’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Stratasys is more favorable than Materialise NV.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

67.3% of Stratasys shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 8.5% of Materialise NV shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.3% of Stratasys 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.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Stratasys and Materialise NV’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Stratasys $665.63 million 1.74 $30.05 million ($1.07) -20.46
Materialise NV $147.89 million N/A $11.82 million ($0.03) -427.67

Stratasys has higher revenue and earnings than Materialise NV. Materialise NV is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Stratasys, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Stratasys has a beta of 1.16, meaning that its share price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Materialise NV has a beta of 1.79, meaning that its share price is 79% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Stratasys beats Materialise NV on 7 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Stratasys Company Profile

Stratasys, Inc. is a manufacturer of three-dimensional (3D) printers and rapid prototyping (RP) systems for the office-based RP and direct digital manufacturing (DDM) markets. The Company develops, manufactures and sells a product line of 3D printers and DDM systems (and related consumable materials) that create physical models from computer-aided design (CAD) designs. It also offer rapid prototyping and production part manufacturing services through its centers located in North America, Europe and Australia. In January 2009, the Company introduced the uPrint Personal 3D Printer. In January 2009, it began offering a thermoplastic for direct digital manufacturing and rapid prototyping called ULTEM 9085.

Materialise NV Company Profile

Materialise NV is a Belgium-based company engaged in the software industry. The Company is a provider of additive manufacturing software and of three dimensional (3D) printing services. Materialise NV incorporates of 3D printing experience into a range of software solution and 3D printing services, through which the Company seeks to form the backbone of the 3D printing industry. Its solutions enable players in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design, and consumer goods, to build 3D printing applications. The Company operates in the domestic market and worldwide, including Colombia, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Austria, Poland, Germany and France, among others.

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