Waters (NYSE: WAT) and Luminex (NASDAQ:LMNX) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Waters and Luminex, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Waters 1 9 5 0 2.27
Luminex 1 3 0 0 1.75

Waters currently has a consensus target price of $192.17, suggesting a potential downside of 0.84%. Luminex has a consensus target price of $19.33, suggesting a potential downside of 3.24%. Given Waters’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Waters is more favorable than Luminex.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Waters and Luminex’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Waters $2.17 billion 7.11 $521.50 million $6.78 28.58
Luminex $270.64 million 3.25 $13.81 million $0.67 29.82

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

92.1% of Waters shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.2% of Luminex shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.1% of Waters shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 6.9% of Luminex shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Luminex pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Waters does not pay a dividend. Luminex pays out 35.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Waters and Luminex’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Waters 24.34% 23.61% 11.84%
Luminex 9.52% 6.01% 5.47%

Risk & Volatility

Waters has a beta of 0.82, suggesting that its share price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Luminex has a beta of 0.19, suggesting that its share price is 81% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Waters beats Luminex on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Waters Company Profile

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans. It also designs, manufactures, sells and services thermal analysis, rheometry and calorimetry instruments through its TA product line. It is also a developer and supplier of software-based products that interface with the Company’s instruments, as well as other suppliers’ instruments. Its LC and LC-MS instruments are utilized in a range of industries to detect, identify, monitor and measure the chemical, physical and biological composition of materials, and to purify a range of compounds.

Luminex Company Profile

Luminex Corporation develops, manufactures and sells biological testing technologies with applications throughout the diagnostics, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. The Company’s products are focused on the molecular diagnostic testing market, which includes human genetics, personalized medicine and infectious disease segments. The Company has a range of instruments using its xMAP technology, which includes its LUMINEX 100/200 systems offer 100-plex testing; the Company’s FLEXMAP 3D system is its high-throughput, 500-plex testing system, and its MAGPIX system provides 50-plex testing using imaging rather than flow cytometry. By using its xMAP technology, the end users are able to generate multiple simultaneous results per sample. The Company primarily serves the diagnostics, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries by marketing products, including its testing equipment and assays, to a range of testing laboratories.

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