Mesa Laboratories (MLAB) vs. Fortive (FTV) Financial Contrast

Mesa Laboratories (NASDAQ: MLAB) and Fortive (NYSE:FTV) are both medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and earnings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

72.3% of Mesa Laboratories shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 81.1% of Fortive shares are held by institutional investors. 15.7% of Mesa Laboratories shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 12.1% of Fortive shares are held by company insiders. 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.

Profitability

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Fortive’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mesa Laboratories -3.82% 9.20% 5.37%
Fortive 16.12% 29.86% 11.17%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Mesa Laboratories and Fortive, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mesa Laboratories 0 0 0 0 N/A
Fortive 0 6 5 0 2.45

Fortive has a consensus target price of $80.00, indicating a potential upside of 3.43%. Given Fortive’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Fortive is more favorable than Mesa Laboratories.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Fortive’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mesa Laboratories $93.67 million 6.78 $11.18 million $4.22 39.81
Fortive $6.66 billion 4.05 $1.04 billion $2.89 26.76

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

Volatility & Risk

Mesa Laboratories has a beta of 0.51, indicating that its stock price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Fortive has a beta of 0.51, indicating that its stock price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Mesa Laboratories pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Fortive pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Mesa Laboratories pays out 15.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Fortive pays out 9.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years.

Summary

Fortive beats Mesa Laboratories on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Mesa Laboratories

Mesa Laboratories, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets quality control instruments and disposable products. The company's Instruments segment offers data loggers, which are precision instruments used in critical manufacturing, quality control, and validation applications; medical meters and calibration solutions used to test various parameters of the dialysis fluid, and the calibration and operation of the dialysis machine; gas flow calibration and air sampling equipment that are used for industrial hygiene assessments, calibration of gas metering equipment, and environmental air monitoring; and torque testing systems used for measure bottle cap tightness. This segment's products are used in healthcare, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, medical device, industrial hygiene, environmental air sampling, and semiconductor industries. Its Biological Indicators segment manufactures and markets biological indicators comprising spore strips, self-contained products, and culture media, as well as process challenge devices; and testing services. This segment also distributes chemical indicators that are used to assess the effectiveness of sterilization processes, including steam, hydrogen peroxide, ethylene oxide, and radiation. The company's Cold Chain Monitoring segment offers systems, which are used to monitor various environmental parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and differential pressure for use in hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, blood banks, pharmacies, and various other laboratory and industrial environments; and parameter monitoring services for products in a cold chain. Its Cold Chain Packaging segment offers packaging development consulting services and thermal packaging products. The company markets its products through distributors in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, Canada, and Central America. Mesa Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado.

About Fortive

Fortive Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and services professional and engineered products, software, and services worldwide. Its Professional Instrumentation segment provides test tools, and thermal imaging and calibration equipment for electrical, industrial, electronic, and calibration applications; online condition-based monitoring equipment; portable gas detection equipment, consumables, and software as a service offerings; subscription-based technical, analytical, and compliance services; and maintenance management software for critical infrastructure in utility, industrial, energy, construction, public safety, mining, and healthcare applications. This segment also provides product realization services and products that help developers and engineers across the end-to-end product creation cycle from concepts to finished products; materials components; and devices that sense, monitor, and control operational or manufacturing variables. This segment markets its products and services under the FLUKE, FLUKE BIOMEDICAL, FLUKE NETWORKS, INDUSTRIAL SCIENTIFIC, LANDAUER, QUALITROL, INVETECH, KEITHLEY, PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC ENERGETIC MATERIALS COMPANY, SONIX, and TEKTRONIX brands. Its Industrial Technologies segment offers solutions and services for use in fuel dispensing, remote fuel management, point-of-sale and payment systems, environmental compliance, vehicle tracking, and fleet and traffic management under the ANGI, GASBOY, GILBARCO, GILBARCO AUTOTANK, ORPAK, and VEEDER-ROOT brands; and various electromechanical and electronic motion control products, mechanical components, and supplemental braking systems for commercial vehicles under the DYNAPAR, HENGSTLER, JAKE BRAKE, KOLLMORGEN, PORTESCAP, and THOMSON brands. It also offers professional tools, toolboxes, and automotive diagnostic equipment under the MATCO brand; and wheel service equipment under the COATS brand. The company was incorporated in 2016 and is headquartered in Everett, Washington.

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