PetroChina Company Limited (NYSE: PTR) and Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC) are both large-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares PetroChina Company Limited and Ecopetrol’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PetroChina Company Limited $280.55 billion 0.41 $44.29 billion $1.60 39.62
Ecopetrol $17.94 billion 1.08 $6.95 billion $0.44 21.48

PetroChina Company Limited has higher revenue and earnings than Ecopetrol. Ecopetrol is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than PetroChina Company Limited, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

PetroChina Company Limited pays an annual dividend of $1.39 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Ecopetrol pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. PetroChina Company Limited pays out 86.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Ecopetrol pays out 36.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

0.2% of PetroChina Company Limited shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 2.1% of Ecopetrol shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares PetroChina Company Limited and Ecopetrol’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PetroChina Company Limited 1.08% 1.78% 1.02%
Ecopetrol 5.04% 3.60% 1.34%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for PetroChina Company Limited and Ecopetrol, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PetroChina Company Limited 0 3 4 0 2.57
Ecopetrol 0 3 2 0 2.40

Ecopetrol has a consensus target price of $10.33, suggesting a potential upside of 9.35%. Given Ecopetrol’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Ecopetrol is more favorable than PetroChina Company Limited.

Risk & Volatility

PetroChina Company Limited has a beta of 1.19, indicating that its stock price is 19% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ecopetrol has a beta of 1.04, indicating that its stock price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

PetroChina Company Limited beats Ecopetrol on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About PetroChina Company Limited

PetroChina Company Limited is a China-based company principally engaged in the production and distribution of oil and gas. The Company mainly operates through four business segments. The Exploration and Production segment is principally engaged in the exploration, development, production and sales of crude oil and natural gas. The Refining and Chemical Products segment is principally engaged in the refining of crude oil and petroleum products, as well as the production and sales of basic petrochemical products, derivative petrochemical products and other chemical products. The Sales segment is principally engaged in the sales of refined petroleum products. The Natural Gas and Pipeline segment is engaged in the transportation and sales of natural gas, crude oil and refined petroleum products.

About Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol S.A. is an oil company. The Company operates in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and the United States Gulf Coast. The Company’s segments include Exploration and Production, Transportation and Logistics, and Refining, Petrochemicals and Biofuels. The Company’s Exploration and Production segment includes exploration, development and production activities in Colombia and abroad. The Company’s Transportation and Logistics segment includes the transportation of crude oil, motor fuels, fuel oil and other refined products, including diesel and biofuels. The Company’s main crude oil pipeline systems’ operating capacity is approximately 1.34 million barrels per day (BPD). The Company’s main refineries are the Barrancabermeja refinery, which it directly owns and operates, and a refinery in the Free Trade Zone in Cartagena that is operated by Reficar S.A., a subsidiary of the Company. The Company also owns and operates two other minor refineries: Orito and Apiay.

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