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

Profitability

This table compares Materialise and MiX Telematics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Materialise -2.07% -3.45% -1.55%
MiX Telematics 5.90% 6.66% 5.03%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Materialise and MiX Telematics, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Materialise 0 0 4 0 3.00
MiX Telematics 0 2 1 0 2.33

Materialise currently has a consensus price target of $15.50, indicating a potential upside of 25.10%. MiX Telematics has a consensus price target of $15.00, indicating a potential upside of 17.19%. Given Materialise’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Materialise is more favorable than MiX Telematics.

Volatility and Risk

Materialise has a beta of 1.75, meaning that its share price is 75% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MiX Telematics has a beta of 0.89, meaning that its share price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

11.3% of Materialise shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 27.0% of MiX Telematics shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Materialise and MiX Telematics’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Materialise $120.67 million 4.86 -$3.34 million ($0.07) -176.97
MiX Telematics $114.82 million 2.49 $8.65 million $0.42 30.48

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

Dividends

MiX Telematics pays an annual dividend of $0.13 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Materialise does not pay a dividend. MiX Telematics pays out 31.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

MiX Telematics beats Materialise on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Materialise

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.

About MiX Telematics

MiX Telematics Limited is a South Africa-based provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to customers. The Company’s operating segments include Africa, Europe, Americas, Middle East and Australasia, Brazil and Central Services Organization. The Company’s products and services provide enterprise fleets, small fleets and consumers with solutions for safety, risk management and security. The Company’s solutions include MiX Fleet Manager, which consists of an on-board computer, an online tracking and information portal, as well as access to fleet and driver reports and analytics; MiX SafeDrive provides In-Vehicle Monitoring Systems (IVMS) that monitor driver performance, identify unsafe behaviors and provide audible alerts; Matrix is focused on personal safety and consumer telematics through vehicle tracking-and-recovery products and services, and Beam-e, which is a wireless device that fits into vehicles, motorbikes or caravan.

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