Analyzing Curtiss-Wright (CW) and Actuant (NYSE:ATU)

Curtiss-Wright (NYSE: CW) and Actuant (NYSE:ATU) are both aerospace companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, earnings and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

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This is a summary of recent ratings for Curtiss-Wright and Actuant, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Curtiss-Wright 0 2 6 0 2.75
Actuant 1 6 3 0 2.20

Curtiss-Wright presently has a consensus target price of $135.29, suggesting a potential downside of 3.72%. Actuant has a consensus target price of $23.63, suggesting a potential downside of 0.94%. Given Actuant’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Actuant is more favorable than Curtiss-Wright.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

78.7% of Curtiss-Wright shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Curtiss-Wright shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Actuant shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Curtiss-Wright has a beta of 1.18, indicating that its stock price is 18% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Actuant has a beta of 1.51, indicating that its stock price is 51% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Curtiss-Wright and Actuant’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Curtiss-Wright $2.27 billion 2.73 $214.89 million $5.03 27.94
Actuant $1.10 billion 1.31 -$66.21 million $0.83 28.73

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


This table compares Curtiss-Wright and Actuant’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Curtiss-Wright 9.46% 15.46% 7.02%
Actuant -7.86% 9.21% 3.36%


Curtiss-Wright pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Actuant pays an annual dividend of $0.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.2%. Curtiss-Wright pays out 11.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Actuant pays out 4.8% 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. Curtiss-Wright has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Curtiss-Wright is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.


Curtiss-Wright beats Actuant on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Curtiss-Wright Company Profile

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a manufacturing and service company that designs, manufactures, and overhauls precision components and provides engineered products and services to the aerospace, defense, power generation and general industrial markets. The Company operates through three segments: Commercial/Industrial, Defense and Power. The Commercial/Industrial segment’s products include electronic throttle control devices and transmission shifters, electro-mechanical actuation control components, valves, and surface technology services. The Defense segment’s products include commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) embedded computing board level modules, turret aiming and stabilization products, weapons handling systems, avionics and electronics, flight test equipment, and aircraft data management solutions. The Power segment’s products include a range of hardware, pumps, valves, fastening systems, specialized containment doors, airlock hatches and spent fuel management products.

Actuant Company Profile

Actuant Corporation designs, manufactures, and distributes a range of industrial products and systems worldwide. It operates through three segments: Industrial, Energy, and Engineered Solutions. The Industrial segment is primarily involved in the design, manufacture, and distribution of branded hydraulic and mechanical tools to the maintenance, industrial, infrastructure, and production automation markets under the Enerpac, Larzep, Milwaukee Cylinder, Precision-Hayes, and Simplex brand names. Its primary products include hydraulic tools, heavy lifting solutions, production automation solutions, and concrete stressing components and systems. The Energy segment provides joint integrity products and services, customized offshore vessel mooring solutions, and rope and cable solutions to the oil and gas, power generation, and other markets, as well as technical manpower solutions. It also provides pipeline pre-commissioning, engineering, chemical cleaning, and leak testing services. This segment distributes its products and services principally under the Hydratight, Cortland, and Viking brand names to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), maintenance and service organizations, and energy producers. The Engineered Solutions segment designs and assembles engineered position and motion control systems to OEMs in various on and off-highway vehicle markets, as well as other products to the industrial and agricultural markets under the Power-Packer and Gits brand names. Its products include actuation systems, mechanical power transmission products, engine air flow management systems, human to machine interface solutions, and other rugged electronic instrumentation. Actuant Corporation was founded in 1910 and is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

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