Vistra Energy Corp. (NYSE: VST) and Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends and earnings.

Dividends

Vistra Energy Corp. pays an annual dividend of $2.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 13.1%. Xcel Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Xcel Energy pays out 63.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Vistra Energy Corp. has increased its dividend for 13 consecutive years. Vistra Energy Corp. is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

4.1% of Vistra Energy Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 72.6% of Xcel Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of Xcel Energy shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Vistra Energy Corp. and Xcel Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vistra Energy Corp. 0 1 2 0 2.67
Xcel Energy 0 8 2 0 2.20

Vistra Energy Corp. currently has a consensus price target of $19.33, suggesting a potential upside of 9.48%. Xcel Energy has a consensus price target of $46.70, suggesting a potential downside of 4.58%. Given Vistra Energy Corp.’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Vistra Energy Corp. is more favorable than Xcel Energy.

Profitability

This table compares Vistra Energy Corp. and Xcel Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vistra Energy Corp. N/A N/A N/A
Xcel Energy 10.08% 10.42% 2.80%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Vistra Energy Corp. and Xcel Energy’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vistra Energy Corp. $5.53 billion 1.37 $1.60 billion N/A N/A
Xcel Energy $11.43 billion 2.17 $3.76 billion $2.27 21.56

Xcel Energy has higher revenue and earnings than Vistra Energy Corp..

Summary

Xcel Energy beats Vistra Energy Corp. on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Vistra Energy Corp. Company Profile

Vistra Energy Corp, formerly TCEH Corp. is a holding company. The Company is an energy company, which is focused on energy and power generation markets through operation as a generator and retailer of electricity in Texas market. Its portfolio of businesses consists primarily of Luminant and TXU Energy. It is engaged in electricity market activities in Texas, including electricity generation, wholesale energy sales and purchases, commodity risk management activities and retail electricity operations. Luminant generates and sells electricity and related products from its fleet of generation facilities totaling approximately 17,000 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 megawatts fueled by nuclear power, 8,000 megawatts fueled by coal and 6,000 megawatts fueled by natural gas. The Company is a purchaser of wind-generated electricity. TXU Energy sells retail electricity and services to approximately 1.7 million residential and business customers in Texas.

Xcel Energy Company Profile

Xcel Energy Inc. is a public utility holding company. The Company’s operations include the activity of four utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers in eight states. The Company’s segments include regulated electric utility, regulated natural gas utility and all other. The Company’s utility subsidiaries include NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) and Southwestern Public Service Co. (SPS), which serve customers in portions of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. Along with WYCO Development LLC (WYCO), a joint venture formed with Colorado Interstate Gas Company, LLC (CIG) to develop and lease natural gas pipelines storage and compression facilities, and WestGas InterState, Inc. (WGI), an interstate natural gas pipeline company, these companies comprise the regulated utility operations.

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