Contrasting Photronics (PLAB) & FormFactor (FORM)

Photronics (NASDAQ: PLAB) and FormFactor (NASDAQ:FORM) are both small-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Photronics and FormFactor’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Photronics 2.91% 1.55% 1.30%
FormFactor 3.68% 16.80% 11.20%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

94.6% of Photronics shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.3% of FormFactor shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.7% of Photronics shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.3% of FormFactor shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Photronics has a beta of 0.54, meaning that its share price is 46% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, FormFactor has a beta of 1.47, meaning that its share price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Photronics and FormFactor, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Photronics 0 0 1 0 3.00
FormFactor 0 1 5 0 2.83

Photronics currently has a consensus target price of $13.00, suggesting a potential upside of 36.84%. FormFactor has a consensus target price of $18.40, suggesting a potential upside of 17.95%. Given Photronics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Photronics is more favorable than FormFactor.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Photronics and FormFactor’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Photronics $450.68 million 1.45 $46.20 million $0.20 47.50
FormFactor $383.88 million 2.97 -$6.55 million $0.26 60.00

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

About Photronics

Photronics, Inc. is a manufacturer of photomasks, which are photographic quartz plates containing microscopic images of electronic circuits. As of October 30, 2016, the Company operated principally from nine manufacturing facilities: two located in Europe, three in Taiwan, one in Korea and three in the United States. Photomasks are used in the manufacture of semiconductors and flat panel displays (FPDs), and are used as masters to transfer circuit patterns onto semiconductor wafers and flat panel substrates during the fabrication of integrated circuits (ICs), and a range of FPDs and other types of electrical and optical components. The Company offers reticle and photomask maintenance, including pellicle replacement, mask cleaning and re-certification, at all its sites across the world. Its products include Mature Binary, Advanced Binary Reticles, Phase Shift Masks-Embedded Attenuated Phase Shift Masks (EAPSM), Other Advanced Products and Large Area Masks.

About FormFactor

FormFactor, Inc. is a provider of test and measurement solutions. The Company’s segments include the Probe Cards segment and Systems segment. The Company designs, manufactures and sells multiple product lines, including probe cards, analytical probes, probe stations, integrated measurement systems, thermal sub-systems, reliability test systems, and related services. Its products provide electrical information from a range of semiconductor and electro-optical devices and integrated circuits (devices) from development to production. Probe Cards segment consists of probe card products and analytical probes. Systems segment consists of wafer probing, thermal and reliability products to enable precision on-wafer measurement of integrated circuits. Systems products are used in the early phases of the development and characterization of semiconductor processes.

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