Critical Comparison: MTS Systems (MTSC) & Image Sensing Systems (ISNS)

MTS Systems (NASDAQ: MTSC) and Image Sensing Systems (NASDAQ:ISNS) 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 earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends and valuation.

Dividends

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MTS Systems pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Image Sensing Systems does not pay a dividend. MTS Systems pays out 54.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for MTS Systems and Image Sensing Systems, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
MTS Systems 0 0 2 0 3.00
Image Sensing Systems 0 0 0 0 N/A

MTS Systems presently has a consensus target price of $70.00, suggesting a potential upside of 40.56%. Given MTS Systems’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe MTS Systems is more favorable than Image Sensing Systems.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

99.0% of MTS Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 13.9% of Image Sensing Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.8% of MTS Systems shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.0% of Image Sensing Systems shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

MTS Systems has a beta of 1.02, meaning that its share price is 2% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Image Sensing Systems has a beta of 0.33, meaning that its share price is 67% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares MTS Systems and Image Sensing Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
MTS Systems 7.22% 9.33% 3.39%
Image Sensing Systems 14.31% 30.65% 23.15%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares MTS Systems and Image Sensing Systems’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
MTS Systems $787.96 million 1.12 $25.08 million $2.22 22.43
Image Sensing Systems $14.52 million 1.51 $2.07 million N/A N/A

MTS Systems has higher revenue and earnings than Image Sensing Systems.

Summary

MTS Systems beats Image Sensing Systems on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

MTS Systems Company Profile

MTS Systems Corporation is a supplier of test systems and position sensors. The Company operates through two segments: Test and Sensors. The Test segment provides testing solutions, including hardware, software and services to ground vehicles, materials and structures markets. The Sensors segment provides position sensors for a range of industrial and mobile hydraulic applications. The Sensors segment products are used by industrial machinery and mobile equipment manufacturers to automate the operation of their products for safety and end-user productivity. The Sensors segment manufactures products utilizing magnetostriction technology. Its technology, Temposonics, offers non-contact position sensing. Its Temposonics sensors provide position feedback for motion control systems. It also provides various service offerings, including calibration, maintenance, training and consulting. The Company has its manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.

Image Sensing Systems Company Profile

Image Sensing Systems, Inc. develops and markets software-based computer enabled detection products for use in traffic, safety, security, police, and parking applications to the intelligent transportation systems industry worldwide. It operates in two segments, Intersection and Highway. The company offers various vehicle and traffic detection products, including Autoscope video systems and RTMS radar systems that convert sensory input collected by video cameras and radar units into vehicle detection and traffic data used to operate, monitor, and improve the efficiency of roadway infrastructure. It provides its video and radar processing products for use in traffic applications, such as intersection control, highway, bridge and tunnel traffic management, and traffic data collection. The company sells its products to end users comprising federal, state, city, and county departments of transportation, port, highway, tunnel, and other transportation authorities, as well as system integrators or other suppliers of systems and services who are operating under subcontracts in connection with road construction contracts. Image Sensing Systems, Inc. was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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