Brooks Automation (BRKS) vs. Waters (WAT) Financial Survey

Brooks Automation (NASDAQ: BRKS) and Waters (NYSE:WAT) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Brooks Automation and Waters, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Brooks Automation 0 2 5 0 2.71
Waters 0 11 6 0 2.35

Brooks Automation currently has a consensus price target of $33.57, suggesting a potential upside of 11.35%. Waters has a consensus price target of $202.87, suggesting a potential downside of 3.94%. Given Brooks Automation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Brooks Automation is more favorable than Waters.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

90.2% of Brooks Automation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.5% of Waters shares are held by institutional investors. 2.4% of Brooks Automation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.1% of Waters shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


Brooks Automation pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. Waters does not pay a dividend. Brooks Automation pays out 43.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.


This table compares Brooks Automation and Waters’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Brooks Automation 9.03% 14.43% 10.72%
Waters 0.88% 24.70% 11.90%

Volatility and Risk

Brooks Automation has a beta of 0.97, meaning that its stock price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Waters has a beta of 0.91, meaning that its stock price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Brooks Automation and Waters’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Brooks Automation $692.89 million 3.06 $62.61 million $0.93 32.42
Waters $2.31 billion 7.20 $20.31 million $0.19 1,111.53

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


Waters beats Brooks Automation on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Brooks Automation Company Profile

Brooks Automation, Inc. is a provider of automation and cryogenic solutions for various applications and markets. The Company operates through two segments: Brooks Semiconductor Solutions Group and Brooks Life Science Systems. The Brooks Semiconductor Solutions Group segment offers critical automated transport, vacuum and contamination controls solutions and services. Its product offerings include robots and integrated automation systems for handling of substrates. It is also a provider of cryogenic components to create vacuum and thermal stability within critical operating environments in the manufacturing process. It also offers equipment for automated contamination control, conditioning and metrology solutions for wafer and reticle carriers. The Brooks Life Science Systems segment offers sample life cycle management solutions that provide life science and bioscience customers with a range of sample management solutions for scientific research and support drug development.

Waters Company Profile

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans. It also designs, manufactures, sells and services thermal analysis, rheometry and calorimetry instruments through its TA product line. It is also a developer and supplier of software-based products that interface with the Company’s instruments, as well as other suppliers’ instruments. Its LC and LC-MS instruments are utilized in a range of industries to detect, identify, monitor and measure the chemical, physical and biological composition of materials, and to purify a range of compounds.

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