Electro Scientific Industries (ESIO) versus FuelCell Energy (FCEL) Head-To-Head Comparison

Electro Scientific Industries (NASDAQ: ESIO) and FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, risk, earnings, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Volatility and Risk

Electro Scientific Industries has a beta of 0.95, meaning that its stock price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, FuelCell Energy has a beta of 1.6, meaning that its stock price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

86.6% of Electro Scientific Industries shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 15.6% of FuelCell Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.2% of Electro Scientific Industries shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of FuelCell Energy shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Electro Scientific Industries and FuelCell Energy’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Electro Scientific Industries $367.88 million 1.82 $116.22 million $2.68 7.44
FuelCell Energy $95.67 million 1.62 -$53.90 million ($1.11) -1.71

Electro Scientific Industries has higher revenue and earnings than FuelCell Energy. FuelCell Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Electro Scientific Industries, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Electro Scientific Industries and FuelCell Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Electro Scientific Industries 31.59% 40.37% 26.35%
FuelCell Energy -37.86% -46.40% -13.59%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Electro Scientific Industries and FuelCell Energy, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Electro Scientific Industries 0 0 4 0 3.00
FuelCell Energy 0 2 5 0 2.71

Electro Scientific Industries currently has a consensus price target of $33.50, suggesting a potential upside of 68.00%. FuelCell Energy has a consensus price target of $3.70, suggesting a potential upside of 94.74%. Given FuelCell Energy’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe FuelCell Energy is more favorable than Electro Scientific Industries.

Summary

Electro Scientific Industries beats FuelCell Energy on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Electro Scientific Industries Company Profile

Electro Scientific Industries, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, supplies laser-based microfabrication solutions for the microtechnology industry worldwide. It provides printed circuit boards, including laser via drilling systems for electrical interconnect applications; micro via drilling technology that addresses the changing applications in integrated circuit packages, multichip modules, and high density interconnect circuit boards; and ultraviolet laser processing systems comprising single-beam and multi-beam systems. It also offers semiconductor manufacturing products comprising wafer marking equipment for use in serialization and wafer identification; wafer and circuit trim tools that adjust the electrical performance of semiconductor devices or hybrid circuits; and liquid crystal display (LCD) repair tools; and laser LCD repair systems to enhance the manufacture of flat panel displays. In addition, the company provides component test products that combine high-speed small parts handling technology with real-time control systems to provide inspection solutions for manufacturers of multilayer ceramic capacitors and other passive components, such as capacitor arrays, inductors, resistors, varistors, and hybrid circuits. Further, it offers industrial machining products, such as platforms for precision drilling, scribing, cutting, etching, routing, and marking various materials and devices; and laser systems to manufacturers of end devices for drilling, marking, and cutting. The company sells its products through direct sales and service offices, value-added resellers, and independent representatives. Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

FuelCell Energy Company Profile

FuelCell Energy, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, sells, installs, operates, and services stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed power generation. The company offers SureSource power plants, a tri-generation distributed hydrogen configuration that generates electricity, heat, and hydrogen for commercial, industrial, government, and utility customers; and fuel cell carbon capture solution for coal or gas-fired power plants. It also develops solid oxide fuel cells for adjacent sub-megawatt applications to the markets for megawatt-class SureSource power plants, as well as energy storage applications. The company serves various markets, such as utilities and independent power producers, industrial and process applications, education and health care, data centers and communication, wastewater treatment, government, and commercial and hospitality. It primarily operates in the United States, South Korea, England, Germany, Canada, and Spain. FuelCell Energy, Inc. was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut.

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