Critical Contrast: Ekso Bionics (EKSO) and Nordson (NDSN)

Ekso Bionics (NASDAQ: EKSO) and Nordson (NASDAQ:NDSN) are both medical companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

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38.7% of Ekso Bionics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.7% of Nordson shares are held by institutional investors. 3.3% of Ekso Bionics shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Nordson shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ekso Bionics and Nordson’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ekso Bionics $7.35 million 12.86 -$29.12 million ($0.89) -1.76
Nordson $2.07 billion 3.91 $295.80 million $5.37 25.98

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

Profitability

This table compares Ekso Bionics and Nordson’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ekso Bionics -396.04% -246.15% -107.72%
Nordson 15.85% 30.41% 9.94%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Ekso Bionics and Nordson, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ekso Bionics 0 0 1 0 3.00
Nordson 0 5 6 0 2.55

Ekso Bionics presently has a consensus price target of $4.00, suggesting a potential upside of 154.78%. Nordson has a consensus price target of $155.89, suggesting a potential upside of 11.75%. Given Ekso Bionics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Ekso Bionics is more favorable than Nordson.

Dividends

Nordson pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Ekso Bionics does not pay a dividend. Nordson pays out 22.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Nordson has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Risk and Volatility

Ekso Bionics has a beta of -0.6, indicating that its share price is 160% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nordson has a beta of 1.28, indicating that its share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Nordson beats Ekso Bionics on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ekso Bionics

Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. designs, develops, and sells exoskeletons for use in the healthcare, industrial, military, and consumer markets in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The company operates through Medical Devices, Industrial Sales, and Engineering Services segments. It primarily offers Ekso GT, a bionic suit that provides the ability to stand and walk over ground with a reciprocal gait using a cane, crutches, or a walker to individuals with spinal cord injuries, hemiplegia due to stroke, and lower limb paralysis or weakness. The company's Ekso device is primarily used in a clinic or rehabilitation setting. It also performs research and development work on human exoskeletons and related technologies. The company has a license agreement with Lockheed Martin Corporation to develop products for military applications, as well as with OttoBock Healthcare Products Gmbh. It also has a collaboration with Genesis Rehab Services to study opportunities for incorporating skilled nursing facilities. The company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Richmond, California. Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital.

About Nordson

Nordson Corporation engineers, manufactures, and markets products and systems to dispense, apply, and control adhesives, coatings, polymers, sealants, biomaterials, and other fluids. Its Adhesive Dispensing Systems segment provides dispensing, coating, and laminating systems for adhesives, lotions, liquids, and fibers to disposable products and roll goods; and product assembly dispensing, coating, and laminating systems for use in paper and paperboard converting applications, as well as for the manufacture of roll goods. This segment also offers automated adhesive dispensing systems for packaged goods industries; and components and systems used in the thermoplastic melt stream. The company's Advanced Technology Systems segment offers automated dispensing systems for the attachment, protection, and coating of fluids, as well as related gas plasma treatment systems for cleaning and conditioning surfaces; precision manual and semi-automated dispensers, plastic molded syringes, cartridges, tips, fluid connection components, tubing, and catheters to apply and control the flow of adhesives, sealants, lubricants, and biomaterials; and bond testing, and automated optical and X-ray inspection systems for use in semiconductor and printed circuit board industries. Its Industrial Coating Systems segment provides automated and manual dispensing products and systems to apply adhesive and sealant materials; dispensing and curing systems to coat and cure containers; systems to apply liquid paints and coatings to consumer and industrial products; and systems to apply powder paints and coatings to metal, plastic, and wood products, as well as ultraviolet equipment for use in curing and drying operations for specialty coatings, semiconductor materials, and paints. The company primarily markets its products through its direct sales force, as well as through distributors and sales representatives worldwide. Nordson Corporation was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Westlake, Ohio.

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