Fluidigm (FLDM) versus Waters (NYSE:WAT) Critical Review

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Waters (NYSE: WAT) and Fluidigm (NASDAQ:FLDM) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, valuation, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Waters and Fluidigm’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Waters $2.31 billion 6.58 $20.31 million $7.49 25.88
Fluidigm $101.94 million 2.16 -$60.53 million ($1.19) -4.76

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

92.1% of Waters shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.7% of Fluidigm shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Waters shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of Fluidigm shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Waters and Fluidigm’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Waters 1.14% 25.80% 12.27%
Fluidigm -55.66% -98.85% -12.49%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Waters and Fluidigm, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Waters 1 10 6 0 2.29
Fluidigm 0 1 0 0 2.00

Waters presently has a consensus price target of $206.53, suggesting a potential upside of 6.53%. Fluidigm has a consensus price target of $6.10, suggesting a potential upside of 7.58%. Given Fluidigm’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Fluidigm is more favorable than Waters.

Risk & Volatility

Waters has a beta of 0.94, meaning that its stock price is 6% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Fluidigm has a beta of 2.99, meaning that its stock price is 199% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Waters beats Fluidigm on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Waters Company Profile

Waters Corporation, a specialty measurement company, provides analytical workflow solutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. It designs, manufactures, sells, and services high and ultra performance liquid chromatography technology, as well as mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products, and post-warranty service plans. The company also designs, manufactures, sells, and services thermal analysis, rheometry, and calorimetry instruments; and develops and supplies software-based products that interface with its instruments, as well as other manufacturers' instruments. Its MS technology instruments are used in drug discovery and development comprising clinical trial testing, the analysis of proteins in disease processes, nutritional safety analysis, and environmental testing. In addition, the company offers thermal analysis, rheometry, and calorimetry instruments, which are used in predicting the suitability and stability of fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, water, polymers, metals, and viscous liquids for use in various industrial, consumer good, and healthcare products, as well as for life science research. Its products are used by life sciences, pharmaceutical, biochemical, industrial, nutritional safety, environmental, academic, and governmental customers working in research and development, quality assurance, and other laboratory applications. Waters Corporation was founded in 1958 and is headquartered in Milford, Massachusetts.

Fluidigm Company Profile

Fluidigm Corporation creates, manufactures, and markets technologies and tools for life sciences research in the United States and Europe. It offers analytical systems comprising Helios system, Hyperion imaging system, and Hyperion tissue imager; and assays and reagents, including Maxpar reagents. The company also provides preparatory instruments, such as access array and Juno systems; and analytical instruments comprising Biomark HD system and EP1 system. In addition, it offers integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs), such as library preparation IFCs, Juno genotyping IFC, dynamic array IFCs, digital array IFCs, and Flex Six IFC; and assays and reagents, including delta gene and SNP type assays, access array target-specific primers and targeted sequencing prep primers, and targeted DNA Seq library assays. Further, the company offers single cell genomics that comprise C1 system, Polaris system, C1 IFCs, and Polaris IFC. It sells instruments and consumables, including IFCs, assays, and reagents to academic institutions, clinical research laboratories, and contract research organizations, as well as biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, and agricultural biotechnology companies. The company was formerly known as Mycometrix Corporation and changed its name to Fluidigm Corporation in April 2001. Fluidigm Corporation was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

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