Petrobras Argentina (NYSE: PZE) and Encana Corporation (NYSE:ECA) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership, earnings and valuation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

3.2% of Petrobras Argentina shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 68.2% of Encana Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.1% of Encana Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Petrobras Argentina has a beta of 1.27, suggesting that its stock price is 27% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Encana Corporation has a beta of 2.01, suggesting that its stock price is 101% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Petrobras Argentina and Encana Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Petrobras Argentina 0 0 0 0 N/A
Encana Corporation 2 6 15 1 2.63

Encana Corporation has a consensus target price of $13.62, indicating a potential upside of 54.93%. Given Encana Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Encana Corporation is more favorable than Petrobras Argentina.

Profitability

This table compares Petrobras Argentina and Encana Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Petrobras Argentina -2.46% -5.06% -2.47%
Encana Corporation -3.87% 5.21% 2.11%

Dividends

Encana Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.06 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Petrobras Argentina does not pay a dividend. Encana Corporation pays out -31.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Petrobras Argentina and Encana Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Petrobras Argentina $1.74 billion 1.49 $360.16 million N/A N/A
Encana Corporation $3.52 billion 2.43 $980.00 million ($0.19) -46.26

Encana Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Petrobras Argentina.

Summary

Encana Corporation beats Petrobras Argentina on 13 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Petrobras Argentina Company Profile

Petrobras Argentina SA, formerly Petrobras Energia SA, is an Argentina-based company primarily engaged in the petroleum refining sector. The Company’s activities are structured in four business segments: Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, including the acquisition, exploration, exploitation and maintenance of oil and gas reserves; Refining and Distribution, processing and marketing of petroleum products; Petrochemicals, comprising the production of styrene, polystyrene, bi-oriented polystyrene (BOPS) and synthetic rubber; as well as Gas and Energy, providing gas distribution, as well as fossil fuel and hydroelectric power energy generation. Its petroleum products include lubricants, diesel fuel, compressed natural gas (CNG) and asphalts, among others. The Company has operations established in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico and Spain, among others. The Company is owned by Petrobras Participaciones SL. It operates throught Albares Renovables Argentina SA.

Encana Corporation Company Profile

Encana Corporation is an energy producer that is focused on developing its multi-basin portfolio of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) producing plays. The Company’s operations also include the marketing of natural gas, oil and NGLs. All of its reserves and production are located in North America. It operates through three segments: Canadian Operations, USA Operations and Market optimization. Its Canadian Operations segment includes the exploration for, development of, and production of natural gas oil and NGLs and other related activities within Canada. Its Canadian operations include Montney in northeast British Columbia and northwest Alberta and Duvernay in west central Alberta. The USA Operations include the exploration for, development of, and production of natural gas, oil and NGLs, and other related activities within the United States. The Market Optimization activities are primarily responsible for the sale of the Company’s production to third party customers.

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