Emerge Energy Services (NYSE: EMES) and Superior Energy Services (NYSE:SPN) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, profitability and institutional ownership.

Risk and Volatility

Emerge Energy Services has a beta of 1.56, indicating that its stock price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Superior Energy Services has a beta of 2.08, indicating that its stock price is 108% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Emerge Energy Services and Superior Energy Services, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Emerge Energy Services 0 3 4 0 2.57
Superior Energy Services 0 13 8 0 2.38

Emerge Energy Services currently has a consensus price target of $18.67, suggesting a potential upside of 184.12%. Superior Energy Services has a consensus price target of $16.33, suggesting a potential upside of 80.08%. Given Emerge Energy Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Emerge Energy Services is more favorable than Superior Energy Services.

Profitability

This table compares Emerge Energy Services and Superior Energy Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Emerge Energy Services -14.29% -170.44% -25.17%
Superior Energy Services -31.24% -28.82% -10.86%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

31.0% of Emerge Energy Services shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.9% of Superior Energy Services shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Emerge Energy Services and Superior Energy Services’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Emerge Energy Services $231.85 million 0.85 -$26.10 million ($1.14) -5.76
Superior Energy Services $1.55 billion 0.90 -$16.52 million ($3.20) -2.83

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

Summary

Superior Energy Services beats Emerge Energy Services on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Emerge Energy Services Company Profile

Emerge Energy Services LP owns, operates, acquires and develops a portfolio of energy service assets. The Company operates through Sand segment. The Company conducts its Sand operations through its subsidiary, Superior Silica Sands LLC (SSS). The Company’s Sand business mines, processes and distributes silica sand, an input for the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. As of December 31, 2016, its Wisconsin facilities consisted of three dry plants located in Arland, Barron and New Auburn, Wisconsin, with a total permitted capacity of 6.3 million finished tons per year, and five wet plants and mine complexes. As of December 31, 2016, its dry plant in Kosse, Texas, had a capacity of 600,000 tons per year that is supplied by a separate mine and wet plant that processes local Texas sand. As of December 31, 2016, the Company also had 14 transload facilities located throughout North America in the basins where it delivers its sand, as well as a fleet of 5,573 railcars.

Superior Energy Services Company Profile

Superior Energy Services, Inc. provides a range of services and products to the energy industry related to the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas. The Company’s segments include Drilling Products and Services, which rents and sells bottom hole assemblies, drill pipe, tubulars and specialized equipment for use with onshore and offshore oil and gas well drilling, production and workover activities; Onshore Completion and Workover Services, which provides pressure pumping services used to complete and stimulate production in new oil and gas wells, fluid handling services and well servicing rigs that provide a range of well completion and maintenance services; Production Services, which provides intervention services, such as coiled tubing, cased hole and mechanical wireline, hydraulic workover and snubbing, and remedial pumping services, and Technical Solutions, which provides services requiring specialized engineering, manufacturing or project planning.

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