Willbros Group (NYSE: WG) and RigNet (NASDAQ:RNET) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy, dividends, valuation and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Willbros Group and RigNet’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Willbros Group -7.23% -32.83% -12.09%
RigNet -5.79% -10.36% -5.04%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Willbros Group and RigNet, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Willbros Group 1 0 0 0 1.00
RigNet 0 2 1 0 2.33

Willbros Group presently has a consensus price target of $1.40, indicating a potential downside of 36.07%. RigNet has a consensus price target of $20.50, indicating a potential upside of 16.15%. Given RigNet’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe RigNet is more favorable than Willbros Group.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

57.7% of Willbros Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.3% of RigNet shares are held by institutional investors. 2.1% of Willbros Group shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of RigNet shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Willbros Group and RigNet’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Willbros Group $696.56 million 0.20 -$11.76 million ($0.81) -2.70
RigNet $206.35 million 1.54 $25.82 million ($0.68) -25.96

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

Risk & Volatility

Willbros Group has a beta of 3.26, meaning that its stock price is 226% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, RigNet has a beta of 0.84, meaning that its stock price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

RigNet beats Willbros Group on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Willbros Group Company Profile

Willbros Group, Inc. is a specialty energy infrastructure contractor serving the oil and gas and power industries with offerings that primarily include construction, maintenance and facilities development services. The Company operates through three segments: Oil & Gas, Utility T&D and Canada. The Company provides services through operating subsidiaries. The Company’s segments operated primarily in the United States and Canada. The Company provides construction, maintenance and lifecycle extension services to the midstream markets. The Company provides a range of services in electric and natural gas transmission and distribution, including engineering, procurement, maintenance and construction, repair and restoration of utility infrastructure. It is engaged in construction, maintenance and fabrication, including integrity and supporting civil work, general mechanical and facility construction, application program interface (API) storage tanks, general and modular fabrication.

RigNet Company Profile

RigNet, Inc. (RigNet) provides customized systems and solutions serving customers with data networking and operational requirements. The Company provides voice and data network, video conferencing and monitoring, crew welfare, asset and weather monitoring, and real-time data services. It operates through two segments: Managed Services, and Systems Integration and Automation (SI&A). The Managed Services segment provides remote communications services for offshore and onshore drilling rigs and production facilities, as well as, support vessels and other remote sites. The SI&A segment provides customized solutions for customer telecommunications systems. As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided remote communications and collaborative services to approximately 500 customers reaching approximately 900 remote sites located in approximately 50 countries on six continents. It provides managed remote communications, engineered telecommunications solutions and applications.

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