Western Gas Partners, (NYSE: WES) and Crestwood Equity Partners (NYSE:CEQP) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, profitability, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Western Gas Partners, and Crestwood Equity Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Western Gas Partners, 1 4 6 0 2.45
Crestwood Equity Partners 0 0 4 0 3.00

Western Gas Partners, presently has a consensus target price of $61.20, indicating a potential upside of 17.08%. Crestwood Equity Partners has a consensus target price of $28.00, indicating a potential upside of 13.59%. Given Western Gas Partners,’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Western Gas Partners, is more favorable than Crestwood Equity Partners.

Risk & Volatility

Western Gas Partners, has a beta of 1.17, indicating that its stock price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Crestwood Equity Partners has a beta of 2.65, indicating that its stock price is 165% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

59.4% of Western Gas Partners, shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.2% of Crestwood Equity Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 0.0% of Western Gas Partners, shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 36.2% of Crestwood Equity Partners shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Western Gas Partners, pays an annual dividend of $3.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.8%. Crestwood Equity Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.7%. Western Gas Partners, pays out 256.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Crestwood Equity Partners pays out -107.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Western Gas Partners, has raised its dividend for 9 consecutive years. Crestwood Equity Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares Western Gas Partners, and Crestwood Equity Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Western Gas Partners, 28.81% 15.80% 7.66%
Crestwood Equity Partners -4.68% -1.13% -0.49%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Western Gas Partners, and Crestwood Equity Partners’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Western Gas Partners, $2.03 billion 3.93 $933.45 million $1.39 37.60
Crestwood Equity Partners $3.06 billion 0.56 $311.60 million ($2.24) -11.00

Western Gas Partners, has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Crestwood Equity Partners. Crestwood Equity Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Western Gas Partners,, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Western Gas Partners, beats Crestwood Equity Partners on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Western Gas Partners, Company Profile

Western Gas Partners, LP is a master limited partnership (MLP) that acquires, owns, develops and operates midstream energy assets. The Company is engaged in the business of gathering, processing, compressing, treating and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil in the United States. The Company provides midstream services for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (Anadarko), as well as for third-party producers and customers. The Company’s operations and activities are managed by its general partner, which is indirectly controlled by Anadarko through Western Gas Equity Partners, LP (WGP). As of December 31, 2016, its assets and investments consisted of gathering systems, treating facilities, natural gas processing plants/trains, NGL pipelines, natural gas pipelines and oil pipelines. These assets and investments are located in the Rocky Mountains (Colorado, Utah and Wyoming), North-central Pennsylvania and Texas.

Crestwood Equity Partners Company Profile

Crestwood Equity Partners LP is a holding company and a master limited partnership (MLP). The Company develops, acquires, owns or controls, and operates assets and operations within the energy midstream sector. The Company’s segments include gathering and processing (G&P), which includes its natural gas, crude oil and produced water G&P operations; storage and transportation, which includes its natural gas and crude oil storage and transportation operations, and marketing, supply and logistics, which includes its natural gas liquid (NGL) supply and logistics business, crude oil storage and rail loading facilities and fleet, and salt production business. The Company provides infrastructure solutions to service natural gas and crude oil shale plays across the United States. It owns and operates a portfolio of crude oil and natural gas gathering, processing, storage and transportation assets. Its operating assets are owned by or through its subsidiary, Crestwood Midstream Partners LP.

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