Consolidated Water Co. (NASDAQ: CWCO) and The York Water (NASDAQ:YORW) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, valuation and risk.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Consolidated Water Co. and The York Water’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Consolidated Water Co. $59.52 million 3.23 $13.25 million $0.31 41.61
The York Water $47.60 million 9.84 $29.01 million $0.93 39.19

The York Water has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Consolidated Water Co.. The York Water is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Consolidated Water Co., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Consolidated Water Co. pays an annual dividend of $0.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. The York Water pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Consolidated Water Co. pays out 96.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. The York Water pays out 68.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Consolidated Water Co. and The York Water’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Consolidated Water Co. 7.62% 5.34% 5.02%
The York Water 25.09% 10.52% 3.75%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

50.8% of Consolidated Water Co. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 34.8% of The York Water shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.2% of Consolidated Water Co. shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of The York Water shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

Consolidated Water Co. has a beta of 0.87, indicating that its stock price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, The York Water has a beta of 0.57, indicating that its stock price is 43% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Consolidated Water Co. and The York Water, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Consolidated Water Co. 0 0 1 0 3.00
The York Water 0 0 0 0 N/A

Consolidated Water Co. presently has a consensus price target of $15.00, indicating a potential upside of 16.28%. Given Consolidated Water Co.’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Consolidated Water Co. is more favorable than The York Water.

Summary

Consolidated Water Co. beats The York Water on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Consolidated Water Co. Company Profile

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. develops and operates seawater desalination plants (that utilize reverse osmosis technology) and water distribution systems in areas where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or non-existent. The Company operates in three segments: retail water operations, bulk water operations and services operations. The retail water operations segment produces and supplies water to end users, including residential, commercial and government customers. The bulk water operations segment produces potable water from seawater and sells this water to governments and private customers. The services operations segment provides engineering and management services, including designing and constructing desalination plants, and managing and operating plants owned by affiliated companies. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, it provides various services to its customers in the Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Belize, the British Virgin Islands and Indonesia.

The York Water Company Profile

The York Water Company is an investor-owned water utility in the United States. The primary business of the Company is to impound, purify to meet or exceed safe drinking water standards and distribute water. As of December 31, 2016, it also owned and operated three wastewater collection systems and two wastewater treatment systems. As of December 31, 2016, it operated within its territory, which covered 39 municipalities within York County, Pennsylvania and nine municipalities within Adams County, Pennsylvania. Its two wastewater treatment facilities are located in East Manchester and Lower Windsor Townships. It provides sewer billing services. It has a service line protection program, which allows customers to pay a fixed monthly fee, and it will repair or replace damaged customer service lines. As of December 31, 2016, it obtained the bulk of its water supply from both the South Branch and East Branch of the Codorus Creek, which together had a daily flow of 73 million gallons.

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