Comparing Illinois Tool Works (ITW) & Zebra Technologies (ZBRA)

Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW) and Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ:ZBRA) are both industrial products companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and institutional ownership.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

77.0% of Illinois Tool Works shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.2% of Zebra Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.8% of Illinois Tool Works shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.3% of Zebra Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Illinois Tool Works and Zebra Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Illinois Tool Works 0 8 6 1 2.53
Zebra Technologies 0 2 7 0 2.78

Illinois Tool Works presently has a consensus price target of $176.64, suggesting a potential upside of 19.30%. Zebra Technologies has a consensus price target of $150.00, suggesting a potential downside of 1.94%. Given Illinois Tool Works’ higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Illinois Tool Works is more favorable than Zebra Technologies.


Illinois Tool Works pays an annual dividend of $3.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Zebra Technologies does not pay a dividend. Illinois Tool Works pays out 47.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Illinois Tool Works has increased its dividend for 54 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Illinois Tool Works and Zebra Technologies’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Illinois Tool Works $14.31 billion 3.50 $1.69 billion $6.59 22.47
Zebra Technologies $3.72 billion 2.19 $17.00 million $6.40 23.90

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

Risk and Volatility

Illinois Tool Works has a beta of 1.25, meaning that its share price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Zebra Technologies has a beta of 1.47, meaning that its share price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Illinois Tool Works and Zebra Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Illinois Tool Works 12.36% 51.79% 14.74%
Zebra Technologies 3.08% 47.70% 9.38%


Illinois Tool Works beats Zebra Technologies on 11 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Illinois Tool Works

Illinois Tool Works Inc. manufactures and sells industrial products and equipment worldwide. It operates through seven segments: Automotive OEM; Food Equipment; Test & Measurement and Electronics; Welding; Polymers & Fluids; Construction Products; and Specialty Products. The Automotive OEM segment offers plastic and metal components, fasteners, and assemblies for automobiles, light trucks, and other industrial uses. The Food Equipment segment produces warewashing, cooking, refrigeration, and food processing equipment; kitchen exhaust, ventilation, and pollution control systems; and food equipment, maintenance, and repair services. The Test & Measurement and Electronics segment produces equipment, consumables, and related software for testing and measuring of materials and structures, as well as equipment and consumables used in the production of electronic subassemblies and microelectronics. The Welding segment produces arc welding equipment; metal arc welding consumables and related accessories; and metal jacketing and other insulation products for various industrial and commercial applications. The Polymers & Fluids segment produces adhesives, sealants, lubrication and cutting fluids, and fluids and polymers for auto aftermarket maintenance and appearance. The Construction Products segment produces engineered fastening systems and solutions for the residential construction, renovation/remodel, and commercial construction markets. The Specialty Products segment offers beverage packaging equipment and consumables, product coding and marking equipment and consumables, and appliance components and fasteners. It serves the food and beverage, consumer durables, general industrial, printing and publishing, and industrial capital goods markets. The company distributes its products directly to industrial manufacturers, as well as through independent distributors. Illinois Tool Works Inc. was founded in 1912 and is headquartered in Glenview, Illinois.

About Zebra Technologies

With the unparalleled operational visibility Zebra provides, enterprises become as smart and connected as the world we live in. Real-time information – gleaned from visionary solutions including hardware, software and services – gives organizations the competitive edge they need to simplify operations, know more about their businesses and customers, and empower their mobile workers to succeed in today’s data-centric world.

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