Reviewing Luna Innovations (LUNA) and Agilent Technologies (A)

Luna Innovations (NASDAQ: LUNA) and Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) are both business services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

18.1% of Luna Innovations shares are held by institutional investors. 13.0% of Luna Innovations shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


Agilent Technologies pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Luna Innovations does not pay a dividend. Agilent Technologies pays out 101.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Luna Innovations has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Luna Innovations and Agilent Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Luna Innovations 0 0 1 0 3.00
Agilent Technologies 0 3 10 0 2.77

Luna Innovations presently has a consensus target price of $3.00, indicating a potential upside of 17.65%. Agilent Technologies has a consensus target price of $70.59, indicating a potential upside of 1.81%. Given Luna Innovations’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Luna Innovations is more favorable than Agilent Technologies.


This table compares Luna Innovations and Agilent Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Luna Innovations 26.68% -1.99% -1.35%
Agilent Technologies 4.25% 17.70% 9.72%

Volatility and Risk

Luna Innovations has a beta of 1.02, suggesting that its share price is 2% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Agilent Technologies has a beta of 1.3, suggesting that its share price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Luna Innovations and Agilent Technologies’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Luna Innovations $59.21 million 1.22 -$2.36 million $0.43 5.93
Agilent Technologies $4.47 billion 5.00 $684.00 million $0.59 117.53

Agilent Technologies has higher revenue and earnings than Luna Innovations. Luna Innovations is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Agilent Technologies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Agilent Technologies beats Luna Innovations on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Luna Innovations Company Profile

Luna Innovations Incorporated develops, manufactures and markets fiber optic sensing and test, and measurement products. The Company is focused on bringing technology solutions to measure and monitor processes in the aerospace, automotive, energy, composite, telecommunications and defense industries. The Company operates in two business segments: Products and Licensing, and Technology Development. The Products and Licensing segment develops, manufactures and markets its suite of products, including high-speed optical receiver (HSOR), custom optoelectronic subsystems (Optoelectronics), and Terahertz (THz) products, and fiber optic sensing, as well as test and measurement products. The Technology Development segment performs applied research principally in the areas of sensing and instrumentation, advanced materials and health sciences. The Company’s HSOR transmission products are deployed in the Internet communications equipment infrastructure for high-speed bandwidth.

Agilent Technologies Company Profile

Agilent Technologies, Inc. provides application focused solutions that include instruments, software, services and consumables for the entire laboratory workflow. The Company serves the life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets. It has three business segments: life sciences and applied markets business, diagnostics and genomics business, and Agilent CrossLab business. Its life sciences and applied markets business segment offers instruments and software that enable customers to identify, quantify and analyze the physical and biological properties of substances and products, as well as enable customers in the clinical and life sciences research areas to interrogate samples at the molecular level. Its diagnostics and genomics business segment includes the reagent partnership, pathology, companion diagnostics, genomics and the nucleic acid solutions businesses. Its Agilent CrossLab business segment spans the entire lab with its consumables and services portfolio.

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