Contrasting Ascent Capital Group (ASCMA) & MSA Safety Incorporporated (MSA)

Ascent Capital Group (NASDAQ: ASCMA) and MSA Safety Incorporporated (NYSE:MSA) are both industrial products companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Ascent Capital Group and MSA Safety Incorporporated’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ascent Capital Group -15.29% -33.84% -3.77%
MSA Safety Incorporporated 8.17% 19.54% 8.04%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Ascent Capital Group and MSA Safety Incorporporated, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ascent Capital Group 0 0 1 0 3.00
MSA Safety Incorporporated 0 0 3 0 3.00

Ascent Capital Group presently has a consensus target price of $15.00, suggesting a potential upside of 0.94%. MSA Safety Incorporporated has a consensus target price of $80.67, suggesting a potential downside of 3.13%. Given Ascent Capital Group’s higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Ascent Capital Group is more favorable than MSA Safety Incorporporated.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Ascent Capital Group and MSA Safety Incorporporated’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ascent Capital Group $568.30 million 0.32 $313.69 million ($7.09) -2.10
MSA Safety Incorporporated $1.14 billion 2.77 $209.91 million $2.42 34.41

Ascent Capital Group has higher revenue, but lower earnings than MSA Safety Incorporporated. Ascent Capital Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than MSA Safety Incorporporated, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

82.6% of Ascent Capital Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 63.3% of MSA Safety Incorporporated shares are held by institutional investors. 8.7% of Ascent Capital Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 15.5% of MSA Safety Incorporporated shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Ascent Capital Group has a beta of 1.33, suggesting that its stock price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, MSA Safety Incorporporated has a beta of 1.56, suggesting that its stock price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

MSA Safety Incorporporated pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Ascent Capital Group does not pay a dividend. MSA Safety Incorporporated pays out 57.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ascent Capital Group has increased its dividend for 45 consecutive years.

Summary

MSA Safety Incorporporated beats Ascent Capital Group on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ascent Capital Group Company Profile

Ascent Capital Group, Inc. is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Monitronics International, Inc. (MONI) and LiveWatch Security, LLC (LiveWatch). The Company’s segments include MONI, LiveWatch and Other Activities. The MONI segment is primarily engaged in the business of providing security alarm monitoring services: monitoring signals arising from burglaries, fires, medical alerts and other events through security systems at subscribers’ premises, as well as providing customer service and technical support. LiveWatch is a do-it-yourself home security provider offering professionally monitored security services through a direct-to-consumer sales channel. LiveWatch offers a differentiated go-to-market strategy through direct response television, Internet and radio advertising. When a customer initiates the process to obtain monitoring services, LiveWatch pre-configures the alarm monitoring system based on customer specifications.

MSA Safety Incorporporated Company Profile

Mine Safety Appliances Company is engaged in the development, manufacture and supply of products that protect people’s health and safety. The Company’s line of safety products is used by workers worldwide in the fire service, homeland security, oil and gas, construction and other industries, as well as the military. Its product offering includes self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs), gas masks, gas detection instruments, head protection, respirators, thermal imaging cameras, fall protection and ballistic helmets. The Company also offers consumer and contractor safety products through retail channels. Its safety products integrate any combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life threatening situations. Its Safety Works, LLC joint venture provides a range of safety products and gloves to the North American do-it-yourself and independent contractor market through various channels.

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