Core Laboratories N.V. (NYSE: CLB) and Ion Geophysical Corporation (NYSE:IO) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and earnings.


This table compares Core Laboratories N.V. and Ion Geophysical Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Core Laboratories N.V. 11.80% 49.29% 13.35%
Ion Geophysical Corporation -20.03% -91.64% -12.33%

Volatility & Risk

Core Laboratories N.V. has a beta of 1.6, suggesting that its stock price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ion Geophysical Corporation has a beta of 3.55, suggesting that its stock price is 255% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

33.5% of Ion Geophysical Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Core Laboratories N.V. shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 15.2% of Ion Geophysical Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Core Laboratories N.V. and Ion Geophysical Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Core Laboratories N.V. $614.73 million 6.96 $123.03 million $1.64 59.07
Ion Geophysical Corporation $192.55 million 0.58 $49.11 million ($3.27) -2.87

Core Laboratories N.V. has higher revenue and earnings than Ion Geophysical Corporation. Ion Geophysical Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Core Laboratories N.V., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Core Laboratories N.V. and Ion Geophysical Corporation, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Core Laboratories N.V. 1 7 5 0 2.31
Ion Geophysical Corporation 0 0 0 0 N/A

Core Laboratories N.V. presently has a consensus target price of $113.70, suggesting a potential upside of 17.36%. Given Core Laboratories N.V.’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Core Laboratories N.V. is more favorable than Ion Geophysical Corporation.


Core Laboratories N.V. pays an annual dividend of $2.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Ion Geophysical Corporation does not pay a dividend. Core Laboratories N.V. pays out 134.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.


Core Laboratories N.V. beats Ion Geophysical Corporation on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Core Laboratories N.V. Company Profile

Core Laboratories N.V. provides reservoir description, production enhancement and reservoir management services to the oil and gas industry. The Company operates through three segments: Reservoir Description, Production Enhancement and Reservoir Management. The Reservoir Description segment encompasses the characterization of petroleum reservoir rock, fluid and gas samples. It provides analytical and field services to characterize properties of crude oil and petroleum products to the oil and gas industry. The Production Enhancement segment includes products and services relating to reservoir well completions, perforations, stimulations and production. It provides integrated diagnostic services to evaluate the effectiveness of well completions. The Reservoir Management segment combines and integrates information from reservoir description and production enhancement services to increase production and recovery of oil and gas from its clients’ reservoirs.

Ion Geophysical Corporation Company Profile

ION Geophysical Corporation is a technology-focused company. It provides geophysical technology, services and solutions to the global oil and gas industry. Its offerings are designed to enable oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies to obtain images of the Earth’s subsurface. It offers services and products through three segments: E&P Technology & Services, E&P Operations Optimization, and Ocean Bottom Services. E&P Technology & Services provides services and products for complex and hard-to-image geologies, such as deepwater subsalt formations in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore East and West Africa and Brazil; unconventional reservoirs, such as those found onshore in shale, tight gas and oil sands formations, and offshore basin-wide seismic data and imaging programs. E&P Operations Optimization combines its Optimization Software and Services and Devices offerings. Ocean Bottom Services consists of OceanGeo, an ocean bottom data acquisition services company.

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