Financial Analysis: Sierra Wireless (SWIR) and Viasat (VSAT)

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) and Viasat (NASDAQ:VSAT) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, risk and earnings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

25.7% of Sierra Wireless shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.4% of Viasat shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of Sierra Wireless shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.7% of Viasat shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Sierra Wireless and Viasat, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sierra Wireless 0 8 3 0 2.27
Viasat 2 4 4 0 2.20

Sierra Wireless currently has a consensus price target of $24.30, indicating a potential upside of 46.56%. Viasat has a consensus price target of $73.78, indicating a potential upside of 16.04%. Given Sierra Wireless’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Sierra Wireless is more favorable than Viasat.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Sierra Wireless and Viasat’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sierra Wireless $692.08 million 0.86 $4.13 million $0.58 28.59
Viasat $1.56 billion 2.40 $23.76 million $0.58 109.62

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

Volatility and Risk

Sierra Wireless has a beta of 2.77, suggesting that its share price is 177% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Viasat has a beta of 0.87, suggesting that its share price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Sierra Wireless and Viasat’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sierra Wireless 0.60% 4.82% 3.19%
Viasat -2.59% -1.13% -0.65%


Viasat beats Sierra Wireless on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in building the Internet of Things (IoT) with intelligent wireless solutions in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. It operates in three segments: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Solutions, Enterprise Solutions, and Cloud and Connectivity Services. The OEM Solutions segment offers embedded cellular modules, short range wireless modules, software, and tools to integrate wireless connectivity into various products and solutions for OEM customers, including the embedded wireless modules product portfolio; and Legato, an open source, Linux-based application framework. This segment provides its products and solutions to a range of industries, including automotive, transportation, enterprise networking, energy, sales and payment, mobile computing, security, industrial monitoring, field services, residential, healthcare, and other industries. It also offers professional services to OEM customers during their product development and launch process. The Enterprise Solutions segment provides a range of second, third, and fourth generation LTE intelligent cellular routers and gateways, as well as security and device management solutions, and professional services to public safety, transportation field service, energy, industrial, retail, and financial enterprises. The Cloud and Connectivity Services segment provides secure and scalable cloud based platform for deploying and managing IoT subscriptions, devices, data, and applications; connectivity services, which include smart SIM and core network platforms; and managed broadband cellular services. Sierra Wireless, Inc. sells its products directly, as well as through various indirect channels, such as OEMs, distributors, value added resellers, and hardware vendors, as well as SIM vendors and mobile network operators. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Richmond, Canada.

About Viasat

Viasat, Inc. provides broadband and communications products and services worldwide. The company's Satellite Services segment offers fixed broadband services, including broadband Internet access and voice over Internet protocol services under the Exede and WildBlue brands to consumers and businesses; in-flight Internet and aviation software services to commercial airlines; mobile broadband services comprising network management and high-speed Internet connectivity services for customers using airborne, maritime, and ground mobile satellite systems; and enterprise broadband services. As of March 31, 2017, this segment provided broadband Internet services to approximately 659,000 consumer and small business subscribers. Its Commercial Networks segment offers fixed satellite networks comprising satellite network infrastructure and ground terminals designed to access Ka-band broadband services; mobile broadband satellite communication systems; and antenna systems for terrestrial and satellite applications, such as earth imaging, remote sensing, mobile satellite communication, Ka-band earth stations, and other multi-band antennas. This segment also provides design and technology services, including analysis, design, development, and specification of satellites and ground systems; ASIC and MMIC design; and wide area network compression for enterprise networks. The company's Government Systems segment offers government satellite communication systems, including various mobile and fixed broadband modems, terminals, network access control systems, and antenna systems; cybersecurity and information assurance products and services; and tactical radio and information distribution systems to enable real-time collection and dissemination of secure real-time digital information between command centers, communications nodes, ground and maritime platforms, and airborne intelligence and defense platforms. Viasat, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Carlsbad, California.

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