Mplx Lp (NYSE: MPLX) and Tallgrass Energy Partners, (NYSE:TEP) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

Mplx Lp has a beta of 1.35, meaning that its stock price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Tallgrass Energy Partners, has a beta of 1.03, meaning that its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

69.6% of Mplx Lp shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.8% of Tallgrass Energy Partners, shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Mplx Lp pays an annual dividend of $2.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.7%. Tallgrass Energy Partners, pays an annual dividend of $3.70 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.8%. Mplx Lp pays out 271.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Tallgrass Energy Partners, pays out 165.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Mplx Lp has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years and Tallgrass Energy Partners, has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Tallgrass Energy Partners, is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Mplx Lp and Tallgrass Energy Partners,, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mplx Lp 0 1 10 1 3.00
Tallgrass Energy Partners, 0 5 4 0 2.44

Mplx Lp currently has a consensus price target of $42.55, suggesting a potential upside of 27.57%. Tallgrass Energy Partners, has a consensus price target of $60.57, suggesting a potential upside of 28.33%. Given Tallgrass Energy Partners,’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Tallgrass Energy Partners, is more favorable than Mplx Lp.

Profitability

This table compares Mplx Lp and Tallgrass Energy Partners,’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mplx Lp 19.07% 6.13% 3.51%
Tallgrass Energy Partners, 46.63% 20.47% 9.01%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Mplx Lp and Tallgrass Energy Partners,’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mplx Lp $3.04 billion 4.26 $1.47 billion $0.83 40.18
Tallgrass Energy Partners, $614.20 million 5.57 $351.11 million $2.23 21.17

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

About Mplx Lp

MPLX LP is a master limited partnership (MLP) formed by Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) to own, operate, develop and acquire midstream energy infrastructure assets. The Company is engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids (NGLs), and the gathering, transportation and storage of crude oil and refined petroleum products. Its segments are Logistics and Storage (L&S), and Gathering and Processing (G&P). The L&S segment includes transportation and storage of crude oil, refined products and other hydrocarbon-based products. As of December 31, 2016, the G&P segment operated various natural gas gathering systems that had a combined 5,439 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) throughput capacity. As of December 31, 2016, its assets included infrastructure to support MPC, including approximately 2,900 miles of crude oil and refined product pipelines across nine states.

About Tallgrass Energy Partners,

Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP owns, operates, acquires and develops midstream energy assets in North America. The Company operates through three segments: Crude Oil Transportation & Logistics, Natural Gas Transportation & Logistics and Processing & Logistics. The Crude Oil Transportation & Logistics segment includes the ownership and operation of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) crude oil pipeline system, and crude oil storage and terminaling facilities. The Natural Gas Transportation & Logistics segment is engaged in the ownership and operation of FERC regulated interstate natural gas pipelines and integrated natural gas storage facilities. The Processing & Logistics segment is engaged in the ownership and operation of natural gas processing, treating and fractionation facilities; the provision of water business services primarily to the oil and gas exploration and production industry, and the transportation of natural gas liquids (NGLs).

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