Coherent (COHR) versus Agilent Technologies (A) Head to Head Comparison

Coherent (NASDAQ: COHR) and Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations and profitability.

Dividends

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Agilent Technologies pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Coherent does not pay a dividend. Agilent Technologies pays out 25.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Agilent Technologies has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Coherent and Agilent Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Coherent 0 0 9 0 3.00
Agilent Technologies 0 2 11 0 2.85

Coherent currently has a consensus target price of $296.63, suggesting a potential upside of 63.33%. Agilent Technologies has a consensus target price of $72.21, suggesting a potential upside of 5.48%. Given Coherent’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Coherent is more favorable than Agilent Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares Coherent and Agilent Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Coherent 11.79% 29.82% 14.48%
Agilent Technologies 4.25% 17.70% 9.72%

Volatility & Risk

Coherent has a beta of 0.96, meaning that its stock price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Agilent Technologies has a beta of 1.31, meaning that its stock price is 31% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Coherent and Agilent Technologies’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Coherent $1.72 billion 2.62 $207.12 million $12.57 14.45
Agilent Technologies $4.47 billion 4.94 $684.00 million $2.36 29.01

Agilent Technologies has higher revenue and earnings than Coherent. Coherent is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Agilent Technologies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

98.4% of Coherent shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Coherent shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Coherent beats Agilent Technologies on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Coherent

Coherent, Inc. provides lasers and laser-based technology in a range of scientific, commercial, and industrial applications worldwide. It operates through two segments, Specialty Lasers and Systems, and Commercial Lasers and Components. The company designs, manufactures, services, and markets lasers, laser tools, precision optics, and related accessories. Its products are used in markets, such as microelectronics, materials processing, original equipment manufacturer components and instrumentation, and scientific research and government programs. The company markets its products through a direct sales force in the United States, as well as through direct sales personnel and independent representatives internationally. Coherent Inc. was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies, Inc. provides application focused solutions to the life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets worldwide. It operates in three segments: Life Sciences and Applied Markets, Diagnostics and Genomics, and Agilent CrossLab. The Life Sciences and Applied Markets segment offers liquid chromatography systems and components; liquid chromatography mass spectrometry systems; gas chromatography systems and components; gas chromatography mass spectrometry systems; inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry instruments; atomic absorption instruments; microwave plasma-atomic emission spectrometry instruments; inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry instruments; raman spectroscopy; microfluidics based automated electrophoresis products; cell analysis plate based assays; laboratory software and informatics systems; laboratory automation; dissolution testing; vacuum pumps; and measurement technologies. The Diagnostics and Genomics segment provides reagents, instruments, software, and consumables; arrays for DNA mutation detection, genotyping, gene copy number determination, identification of gene rearrangements, DNA methylation profiling, and gene expression profiling, as well as sequencing target enrichment services; and equipment focused on production of synthesized oligonucleotides for use as active pharmaceutical ingredients. The Agilent CrossLab segment offers GC and LC columns, sample preparation products, custom chemistries, and various laboratory instrument supplies; and startup, operational, training, and compliance support, as well as asset management and consultation services. The company markets its products through direct sales, electronic commerce, resellers, manufacturers' representatives, and distributors. It has collaboration with the University of Southern California Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience. Agilent Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

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