Key Energy Services (NYSE: KEG) and SAExploration Holdings (NASDAQ:SAEX) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

50.5% of Key Energy Services shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.0% of Key Energy Services shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of SAExploration Holdings shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Key Energy Services and SAExploration Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Key Energy Services N/A N/A N/A
SAExploration Holdings -32.00% -114.73% -25.10%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Key Energy Services and SAExploration Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Key Energy Services $420.39 million 0.57 -$47.27 million N/A N/A
SAExploration Holdings $158.09 million 0.16 $13.55 million ($6.17) -0.44

SAExploration Holdings has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Key Energy Services.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Key Energy Services and SAExploration Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Key Energy Services 0 4 2 0 2.33
SAExploration Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A

Key Energy Services currently has a consensus target price of $19.40, indicating a potential upside of 62.75%. Given Key Energy Services’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Key Energy Services is more favorable than SAExploration Holdings.


Key Energy Services beats SAExploration Holdings on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Key Energy Services Company Profile

Key Energy Services, Inc. is an onshore, rig-based well servicing contractor. The Company provides a range of well services to oil companies, foreign national oil companies, and independent oil and natural gas production companies. The Company operates in five segments: U.S. Rig Services, Fluid Management Services, Coiled Tubing Services, Fishing and Rental Services, and International. Its U.S. Rig Services, Fluid Management Services, Coiled Tubing Services, Fishing and Rental Services operate geographically within the United States. The International segment includes its operations in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Russia, Bahrain and Oman. The Company’s services include rig-based and coiled tubing-based well maintenance and workover services, well completion and recompletion services, fluid management services, fishing and rental services, and other ancillary oilfield services. Additionally, certain of its rigs provide specialty drilling applications.

SAExploration Holdings Company Profile

SAExploration Holdings, Inc., an oilfield services company, provides seismic data acquisition and logistical support services to the oil and natural gas industry in North and South America, the Southeast Asia, and West Africa. Its seismic data acquisition services include program design, planning and permitting, camp services, survey, drilling, recording, reclamation, and in-field processing. The company acquires 2D, 3D, time-lapse 4D, and multi-component seismic data on land, in transition zones between land and water, and in offshore in depths reaching 3,000 meters. It operates crews that utilize approximately 27,500 owned land and marine seismic data acquisition equipment and other leased equipment. The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

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