Mesa Laboratories (MLAB) and Badger Meter (BMI) Head-To-Head Comparison

Mesa Laboratories (NASDAQ: MLAB) and Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) are both small-cap medical companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Badger Meter’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mesa Laboratories 11.31% 16.58% 9.37%
Badger Meter 8.67% 13.19% 9.52%

Analyst Recommendations

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

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mesa Laboratories 0 0 1 0 3.00
Badger Meter 0 2 1 0 2.33

Badger Meter has a consensus price target of $44.50, suggesting a potential upside of 0.68%. Given Badger Meter’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Badger Meter is more favorable than Mesa Laboratories.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Mesa Laboratories and Badger Meter’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mesa Laboratories $95.22 million 5.13 $25.86 million $2.79 46.59
Badger Meter $395.15 million 3.26 $77.75 million $1.17 37.78

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

Volatility & Risk

Mesa Laboratories has a beta of 0.46, indicating that its share price is 54% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Badger Meter has a beta of 0.56, indicating that its share price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

67.1% of Mesa Laboratories shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.1% of Badger Meter shares are owned by institutional investors. 17.0% of Mesa Laboratories shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.5% of Badger Meter shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Mesa Laboratories pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Badger Meter pays an annual dividend of $0.46 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Mesa Laboratories pays out 22.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Badger Meter pays out 39.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Mesa Laboratories has increased its dividend for 15 consecutive years.

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 Badger Meter

Badger Meter, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of products incorporating flow measurement, control and communication solutions, serving water utilities, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers around the world. The Company’s products measure water, oil, chemicals and other fluids, provide and communicate timely measurement data. Its product lines include two categories: sales of water meters and related technologies to municipal water utilities (municipal water), and sales of meters to various industries for water and other fluids (flow instrumentation). The municipal water offering includes mechanical and ultrasonic (electronic) water meters and related technologies and services used by water utilities as the basis for generating water and wastewater. The flow instrumentation category includes the sale of meters and valves around the world to measure and control materials flowing through a pipe or pipeline, including air, steam, oil, and other liquids and gases.

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