General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and Astronics (NASDAQ:ATRO) are both industrials companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and risk.

Dividends

General Dynamics pays an annual dividend of $3.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Astronics does not pay a dividend. General Dynamics pays out 35.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Astronics has increased its dividend for 20 consecutive years.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares General Dynamics and Astronics’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
General Dynamics $30.97 billion 2.15 $2.91 billion $9.55 23.48
Astronics $633.12 million 2.01 $48.42 million $1.18 38.53

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

Volatility and Risk

General Dynamics has a beta of 0.72, indicating that its stock price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Astronics has a beta of 1.52, indicating that its stock price is 52% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for General Dynamics and Astronics, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
General Dynamics 2 4 10 0 2.50
Astronics 0 1 2 0 2.67

General Dynamics currently has a consensus target price of $234.13, indicating a potential upside of 4.39%. Astronics has a consensus target price of $46.33, indicating a potential upside of 1.90%. Given General Dynamics’ higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe General Dynamics is more favorable than Astronics.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

86.8% of General Dynamics shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.6% of Astronics shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.7% of General Dynamics shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 16.5% of Astronics 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.

Profitability

This table compares General Dynamics and Astronics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
General Dynamics 9.40% 27.22% 8.86%
Astronics 5.80% 10.29% 5.69%

Summary

General Dynamics beats Astronics on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About General Dynamics

General Dynamics Corporation is a global aerospace and defense company. The Company offers a portfolio of products and services in business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions; information technology (IT) services and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) solutions, and shipbuilding and ship repair. It operates through four business groups: Aerospace, Combat Systems, Information Systems and Technology, and Marine Systems. Its Aerospace group offers aircraft design; cockpit and cabin systems, and product service and support. Its Combat Systems group offers combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions. The Information Systems and Technology group provides technologies, products and services in support of various programs. The Marine Systems group is a designer and builder of nuclear-powered submarines, surface combatants and auxiliary and combat-logistics ships.

About Astronics

Astronics Corporation is a supplier of products to the aerospace, defense, electronics and semiconductor industries. The Company’s products and services include electrical power generation, distribution and motion systems, lighting and safety systems, avionics products, aircraft structures, systems certification and automated test systems. The Company operates through two segments: Aerospace and Test Systems. The Aerospace segment designs and manufactures products for the global aerospace industry. Its product lines include lighting and safety systems, electrical power generation, distribution and motions systems, aircraft structures, avionics products, systems certification and other products. The Test Systems segment designs, develops, manufactures and maintains automated test systems that support the semiconductor, aerospace, communications and weapons test systems, as well as training and simulation devices for both commercial and military applications.

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