Mesa Laboratories (MLAB) & Rudolph Technologies (RTEC) Critical Analysis

Mesa Laboratories (NASDAQ: MLAB) and Rudolph Technologies (NYSE:RTEC) are both small-cap industrials companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Mesa Laboratories and Rudolph Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mesa Laboratories 0 0 0 0 N/A
Rudolph Technologies 1 0 4 0 2.60

Rudolph Technologies has a consensus price target of $28.00, suggesting a potential upside of 15.70%. Given Rudolph Technologies’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Rudolph Technologies is more favorable than Mesa Laboratories.

Volatility and Risk

Mesa Laboratories has a beta of 0.42, indicating that its stock price is 58% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Rudolph Technologies has a beta of 1.05, indicating that its stock price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Mesa Laboratories pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Rudolph Technologies does not pay a dividend. Mesa Laboratories pays out 23.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Rudolph Technologies’ 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 5.36 $11.18 million $2.77 47.96
Rudolph Technologies $232.78 million 3.28 $36.95 million $1.24 19.52

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

69.8% of Mesa Laboratories shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.5% of Rudolph Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 15.7% of Mesa Laboratories shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Rudolph Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Rudolph Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mesa Laboratories 11.48% 14.77% 8.57%
Rudolph Technologies 15.99% 10.49% 9.03%

Summary

Rudolph Technologies beats Mesa Laboratories on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Mesa Laboratories

Mesa Laboratories, Inc. is focused primarily on quality control products and services. The Company operates through four segments: Instruments, Continuous Monitoring, Biological Indicators and Cold Chain. The Instruments Division designs, manufactures and markets quality control instruments and disposable products. Its Biological Indicators Division provides testing services, along with the manufacturing and marketing of biological indicators and distribution of chemical indicators used to assess the effectiveness of sterilization processes. Its Continuous Monitoring Division designs, develops and markets systems, which are used to monitor various environmental parameters. Its Cold Chain Division provides parameter (primarily temperature) monitoring of products in a cold chain. The Company’s brands include DataTrace, DialyGuard, DryCal, Torqo, SureTorque, BGI, Mesa, PCD, Apex, CheckPoint, Mesa and TempTrust.

About Rudolph Technologies

Rudolph Technologies, Inc. (Rudolph) is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of process control defect inspection and metrology, advanced packaging lithography, and data analysis systems and software used by microelectronics device manufacturers. The Company provides process and yield management solutions used in both wafer processing and final manufacturing through a family of standalone systems for macro-defect inspection, lithography, probe card test and analysis, and transparent and opaque thin film measurements. It offers Process Control Business, Lithography Business and Integrated Software Solutions. Rudolph markets and sells products to logic, memory, data storage, flat panel, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) device and packaging manufacturers. Its products include AMX 6000 Series, Explorer Inspection Platform, MetaPULSE System, Wafer Scanner Inspection System, GateWay Software, Yield Optimizer Software and Process Sentinel Software.

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