Mueller Water Products (MWA) vs. Highway (HIHO) Critical Survey

Mueller Water Products (NYSE:MWA) and Highway (NASDAQ:HIHO) are both small-cap industrial products companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk and institutional ownership.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Mueller Water Products and Highway’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mueller Water Products $916.00 million 1.79 $105.60 million $0.53 19.66
Highway $19.17 million 0.77 $1.55 million N/A N/A

Mueller Water Products has higher revenue and earnings than Highway.

Volatility and Risk

Mueller Water Products has a beta of 1.1, meaning that its stock price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Highway has a beta of 0.23, meaning that its stock price is 77% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Mueller Water Products and Highway, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mueller Water Products 1 3 3 0 2.29
Highway 0 0 0 0 N/A

Mueller Water Products presently has a consensus target price of $13.10, indicating a potential upside of 25.72%. Given Mueller Water Products’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Mueller Water Products is more favorable than Highway.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

85.7% of Mueller Water Products shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 8.3% of Highway shares are held by institutional investors. 3.0% of Mueller Water Products shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Mueller Water Products and Highway’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mueller Water Products 11.53% 15.84% 6.89%
Highway 7.90% 12.25% 7.92%

Dividends

Mueller Water Products pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Highway pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 10.3%. Mueller Water Products pays out 37.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Mueller Water Products has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Summary

Mueller Water Products beats Highway on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Mueller Water Products Company Profile

Mueller Water Products, Inc. manufactures and markets products and services for use in the transmission, distribution, and measurement of water in the United States, Canada, and internationally. It operates through Infrastructure and Technologies segments. The Infrastructure segment offers valves for water and gas systems, including iron gate, butterfly, tapping, check, knife, plug, automatic control, and ball valves; dry-barrel and wet-barrel fire hydrants; pipe repair products, such as clamps and couplings used to repair leaks under the Mueller and Jones brand names; small valves, meter bars, and line stopper fittings for use in gas systems; and machines and tools for tapping, drilling, extracting, installing, and stopping-off. This segment sells its products primarily through waterworks distributors to various end user customers, including municipalities, water and wastewater utilities, gas utilities, and fire protection and construction contractors. The Technologies segment provides residential and commercial water metering products and systems; and leak detection and pipe condition assessment products and services primarily to municipalities and waterworks distributors, as well as to end users. Mueller Water Products, Inc. is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Highway Company Profile

Highway Holdings Limited, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and supplies metal, plastic, electric, and electronic components, subassemblies, and finished products for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and contract manufacturers. The company operates in two segments, Metal Stamping and Mechanical OEM, and Electric OEM. It also engages in the trade of plastic injection products; and manufactures and assembles metal, plastic, mold, and electronic products, as well as automation equipment. The company's products are used in the manufacture of products, such as photocopiers, laser printers, print cartridges, electrical connectors, electrical circuits, vacuum cleaners, LED power supplies, stepping motors, pumps for dishwashers, and other washing machine components. In addition, it assists customers in the design and development of the tooling used in the metal and plastic manufacturing process, as well as provides an array of other manufacturing and engineering services. The company serves customers in Hong Kong/China, Europe, North America, and other Asian countries. Highway Holdings Limited was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Sheung Shui, Hong Kong.

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