Financial Review: Waters (WAT) & Brooks Automation (BRKS)

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

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Waters and Brooks Automation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Waters $2.31 billion 7.27 $20.31 million $0.19 1,121.01
Brooks Automation $692.89 million 2.97 $62.61 million $0.93 31.41

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

Volatility and Risk

Waters has a beta of 0.91, meaning that its stock price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Brooks Automation has a beta of 0.97, meaning that its stock price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500.


Brooks Automation pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Waters does not pay a dividend. Brooks Automation pays out 43.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

94.5% of Waters shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.2% of Brooks Automation shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.1% of Waters shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Brooks Automation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Waters 0.88% 24.70% 11.90%
Brooks Automation 9.03% 14.43% 10.72%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Waters and Brooks Automation, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Waters 0 11 6 0 2.35
Brooks Automation 0 2 5 0 2.71

Waters presently has a consensus target price of $202.87, indicating a potential downside of 4.75%. Brooks Automation has a consensus target price of $33.57, indicating a potential upside of 14.93%. Given Brooks Automation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Brooks Automation is more favorable than Waters.


Waters beats Brooks Automation on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Waters

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans. It also designs, manufactures, sells and services thermal analysis, rheometry and calorimetry instruments through its TA product line. It is also a developer and supplier of software-based products that interface with the Company’s instruments, as well as other suppliers’ instruments. Its LC and LC-MS instruments are utilized in a range of industries to detect, identify, monitor and measure the chemical, physical and biological composition of materials, and to purify a range of compounds.

About Brooks Automation

Brooks Automation, Inc. is a provider of automation and cryogenic solutions for various applications and markets. The Company operates through two segments: Brooks Semiconductor Solutions Group and Brooks Life Science Systems. The Brooks Semiconductor Solutions Group segment offers critical automated transport, vacuum and contamination controls solutions and services. Its product offerings include robots and integrated automation systems for handling of substrates. It is also a provider of cryogenic components to create vacuum and thermal stability within critical operating environments in the manufacturing process. It also offers equipment for automated contamination control, conditioning and metrology solutions for wafer and reticle carriers. The Brooks Life Science Systems segment offers sample life cycle management solutions that provide life science and bioscience customers with a range of sample management solutions for scientific research and support drug development.

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