Lawson Products (LAWS) & Willis Lease Finance (WLFC) Critical Review

Lawson Products (NASDAQ:LAWS) and Willis Lease Finance (NASDAQ:WLFC) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Lawson Products and Willis Lease Finance, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lawson Products 0 0 1 0 3.00
Willis Lease Finance 0 0 0 0 N/A

Lawson Products currently has a consensus price target of $37.00, indicating a potential upside of 18.86%. Given Lawson Products’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Lawson Products is more favorable than Willis Lease Finance.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

67.2% of Lawson Products shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 36.8% of Willis Lease Finance shares are owned by institutional investors. 17.5% of Lawson Products shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 51.9% of Willis Lease Finance shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Lawson Products has a beta of 1.23, indicating that its stock price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Willis Lease Finance has a beta of 0.37, indicating that its stock price is 63% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Lawson Products and Willis Lease Finance’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lawson Products $305.91 million 0.91 $29.68 million $0.51 61.04
Willis Lease Finance $274.84 million 0.86 $62.15 million N/A N/A

Willis Lease Finance has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Lawson Products.

Profitability

This table compares Lawson Products and Willis Lease Finance’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lawson Products 6.93% 4.09% 2.03%
Willis Lease Finance 24.28% 9.22% 1.37%

Summary

Lawson Products beats Willis Lease Finance on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lawson Products Company Profile

Lawson Products, Inc. distributes products and services to the industrial, commercial, institutional, and government maintenance, repair, and operations marketplace in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It operates in two segments, Lawson and Bolt. The company's products include fastening systems, fluid power products, specialty chemicals, cutting tools and abrasives, electrical products, aftermarket automotive supplies, safety products, welding and metal repair products, and other products. It serves customers operating in the automotive repair, commercial vehicle maintenance, government, manufacturing, food processing, distribution, construction, oil and gas, mining, wholesale, service, and other industries. The company sells its products through sales representatives, as well as directly from its Website or through fax or phone. Lawson Products, Inc. was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Willis Lease Finance Company Profile

Willis Lease Finance Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, leases large and regional spare commercial aircraft engines, auxiliary power units, and aircraft worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Leasing and Related Operations, and Spare Parts Sales. It also purchases and resells commercial aircraft engines; and sells aircraft engine parts and materials. The company offers noise-compliant Stage III commercial jet engines. It serves airlines and aircraft engine manufacturers, as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul providers. As of December 31, 2017, the company had a total lease portfolio of 225 engines and related equipment, 16 aircraft, and 7 other leased parts and equipment with 80 lessees in 43 countries; and managed a total lease portfolio of 437 engines and related equipment on behalf of other parties, as well as 393 engines. Willis Lease Finance Corporation was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Coconut Creek, Florida.

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