Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) and Echostar (NASDAQ:SATS) are both mid-cap technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Ciena and Echostar’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ciena 45.04% 18.32% 7.02%
Echostar 5.55% 2.85% 1.26%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ciena and Echostar’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ciena $2.80 billion 1.11 $1.26 billion $6.92 3.11
Echostar $3.06 billion 1.85 $179.93 million $1.17 50.62

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

44.5% of Echostar shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of Ciena shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 73.5% of Echostar shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Ciena has a beta of 1.66, suggesting that its share price is 66% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Echostar has a beta of 0.78, suggesting that its share price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Ciena and Echostar, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ciena 0 3 18 0 2.86
Echostar 0 1 1 0 2.50

Ciena currently has a consensus price target of $28.55, indicating a potential upside of 32.49%. Echostar has a consensus price target of $70.00, indicating a potential upside of 18.20%. Given Ciena’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Ciena is more favorable than Echostar.

Summary

Ciena beats Echostar on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ciena

Ciena Corporation is a network strategy and technology company, which provides solutions that enable a range of network operators to adopt communication architectures and deliver an array of services, relied upon by enterprise and consumer end users. It provides equipment, software and services that support the transport, switching, aggregation, service delivery and management of voice, video and data traffic on communications networks. It segments include Networking Platforms; Software and Software-Related Services, and Global Services. The Networking Platforms segment consists of Converged Packet Optical, Packet Networking and Optical Transport product portfolios. The software business is engaged in the development and licensing of element and network management software and software-related services that support its hardware offerings. It offers a suite of consulting and support services that help its customers to design, optimize, deploy and maintain their communications networks.

About Echostar

EchoStar Corporation is a holding company. The Company is a provider of satellite operations, video delivery solutions, digital set-top boxes, and broadband satellite technologies and services for home and office, delivering network technologies, managed services, and solutions for enterprises and governments. The Company operates through three segments: Hughes, EchoStar Technologies (ETC) and EchoStar Satellite Services (ESS). The Company’s Hughes segment provides broadband satellite technologies and broadband services for the home and office, delivering network technologies, managed services and communication solutions to domestic and international consumers and enterprise and government customers. The ETC segment provides end-to-end video and broadcast technology products and services to businesses and directly to consumers. The ESS segment operates its business using its owned and leased in-orbit satellites. Its operations also include real estate and other activities.

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