Nanophase Technologies (OTCMKTS:NANX) and Steel Partners (NYSE:SPLP) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Nanophase Technologies and Steel Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nanophase Technologies 0 0 0 0 N/A
Steel Partners 0 0 0 0 N/A

Dividends

Steel Partners pays an annual dividend of $0.38 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Nanophase Technologies does not pay a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

1.2% of Nanophase Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 28.7% of Steel Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.3% of Nanophase Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 53.4% of Steel Partners shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Nanophase Technologies and Steel Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nanophase Technologies -8.69% -44.18% -19.54%
Steel Partners -1.06% -2.95% -0.72%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Nanophase Technologies and Steel Partners’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nanophase Technologies $12.47 million 2.17 -$780,000.00 N/A N/A
Steel Partners $1.37 billion 0.28 -$10,000.00 N/A N/A

Steel Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Nanophase Technologies.

Volatility and Risk

Nanophase Technologies has a beta of 0.23, suggesting that its share price is 77% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Steel Partners has a beta of 0.83, suggesting that its share price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Steel Partners beats Nanophase Technologies on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Nanophase Technologies Company Profile

Nanophase Technologies Corporation develops and manufactures advanced materials and applications with an integrated nanomaterial and related technologies. It produces engineered nano and non-nano materials for use in various markets, which comprise personal care consisting of sunscreens as active ingredients and in formulated cosmetics; and architectural coatings, industrial coating applications, abrasion-resistant additives, plastics additives, medical diagnostics, and energy, as well as various surface finishing technology applications, such as optics. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Romeoville, Illinois.

Steel Partners Company Profile

Steel Partners Holdings L.P., through its subsidiaries, engages in industrial products, energy, defense, supply chain management, logistics, banking, and sports businesses worldwide. It operates through Diversified Industrial, Energy, and Financial Services segments. The company fabricates precious metals and alloys into brazing alloys; manufactures and sells seamless stainless steel tubing coils; manufactures and supplies fasteners, adhesives, and fastening systems for the commercial low slope roofing industry, as well as specialty fasteners for the building products industry; and manufactures sheet and mechanically formed glass, quartz, carbon, and aramid materials for specialty applications. It also designs, manufactures, and markets power electronics and protection, motion control, power quality electromagnetic equipment, and custom gears and gearboxes used in various medical, commercial and military aerospace, computer, datacom, industrial, architectural and entertainment lighting, and telecom applications. In addition, the company provides meat-room blade products, repair services, and resale products for the meat and deli departments of supermarkets, restaurants, and meat and fish processing plants, as well as for electrical saws and cutting equipment distributors; cutting blades for bakeries; and wood cutting blade products for the pallet manufacturing, pallet recycler, and portable saw mill industries. Further, it manufactures and distributes foil, film, laminate, and holographic products; originates and funds consumer and small business loans; issues credit cards; takes deposits; participates in syndicated commercial and industrial, and asset based credit facilities and securitizations; and offers drilling and production services to the oil and gas industry. Steel Partners Holdings GP Inc. serves as the general partner of the company. The company was founded in 1990 and is based in New York, New York.

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