Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: MPC) and Midcoast Energy Partners (NYSE:MEP) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, earnings, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Midcoast Energy Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marathon Petroleum Corporation 0 2 10 1 2.92
Midcoast Energy Partners 0 1 0 0 2.00

Marathon Petroleum Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $58.74, indicating a potential upside of 4.85%. Midcoast Energy Partners has a consensus target price of $8.00, indicating a potential upside of 0.63%. Given Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Marathon Petroleum Corporation is more favorable than Midcoast Energy Partners.

Risk & Volatility

Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a beta of 1.56, suggesting that its share price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Midcoast Energy Partners has a beta of 2.53, suggesting that its share price is 153% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

79.6% of Marathon Petroleum Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 64.7% of Midcoast Energy Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 1.1% of Marathon Petroleum Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Marathon Petroleum Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Midcoast Energy Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.43 per share and has a dividend yield of 18.0%. Marathon Petroleum Corporation pays out 63.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Midcoast Energy Partners pays out -81.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years and Midcoast Energy Partners has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Midcoast Energy Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Midcoast Energy Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marathon Petroleum Corporation 1.80% 5.68% 2.55%
Midcoast Energy Partners -5.25% -34.51% -2.64%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Midcoast Energy Partners’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Marathon Petroleum Corporation $59.57 billion 0.49 $4.78 billion $2.27 24.68
Midcoast Energy Partners N/A N/A N/A ($1.76) -4.52

Marathon Petroleum Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Midcoast Energy Partners. Midcoast Energy Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Marathon Petroleum Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Marathon Petroleum Corporation beats Midcoast Energy Partners on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation Company Profile

Marathon Petroleum Corporation is engaged in refining, marketing, retail and transportation businesses in the United States and the largest east of the Mississippi. The Company operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing; Speedway; and Midstream. The Refining & Marketing segment refines crude oil and other feedstocks at the Company’s seven refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States. Its Speedway segment sells transportation fuels and convenience products in the retail market in the Midwest, East Coast and Southeast regions of the United States. The Company’s Midstream is engaged in the operations of MPLX LP and certain other related operations. It gathers, processes and transports natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil and refined products. MPLX is a limited partnership which owns, operates, develops and acquires midstream energy infrastructure assets.

Midcoast Energy Partners Company Profile

Midcoast Energy Partners, L.P. (MEP) is a limited partnership company that is engaged in the natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) midstream business. It operates through two segments: Gathering, Processing and Transportation, and Logistics and Marketing. It also provides marketing services of natural gas and NGLs to wholesale customers. The Company’s gathering, processing and transportation business includes natural gas and NGL gathering and transportation pipeline systems, natural gas processing and treating facilities, condensate stabilizers and an NGL fractionation facility. Its logistics and marketing business provides marketing services of natural gas, NGLs and condensate received from its gathering, processing and transportation business. The Company holds interest in Midcoast Operating, L.P., a Texas limited partnership that owns a network of natural gas and NGL gathering and transportation systems, natural gas processing and treating facilities.

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